Israel’s investigation of a major Hamas operative revealed several aspects of the organization’s violence and its various methods to fund terror.
Israeli investigators indicted a major Hamas operative Thursday after an extended interrogation exposed his ties to the terrorist organization, as well as Hamas’ various methods of funding its activities.
Last month, agents from the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet Security Service) arrested the operative, Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Tuama, at the Allenby Bridge crossing on Israel’s border with Jordan. During a subsequent ISA interrogation, Tuama admitted to serving as a member of Hamas’ General Shura Council under the direction of Hamas chief Khaled Meshal. The council contains Hamas’ senior leadership and shapes the organization’s overall policy, including aspects of its military activities.
According to Tuama, the Hamas council includes eight representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood, who contribute to Hamas policy and make key decisions for the organization. Tuama led the council’s auditing committee, and in that role had deep involvement in its financial decision making.
He admitted that, until recently, the organization received most of its funding from the government of Iran, which is known to fund terror activities throughout the globe. In the past year, Iran stopped its funding to Hamas, which created economic distress within the terrorist organization.
During the interrogation, Tuama provided Israel with information on a series of international entities which are part of Hamas global funding array, including entities in Saudi Arabia that receive donations from all over the world. The organizations include Al Quds International Institution and Union of Good, headed by Yousef al Qardawi.
The operative also confessed to advising Hamas central leadership leaders to transfer funds for Hamas activity in the field without being noticed. Among other things, he advised the buying and selling of real estate. In relation to this issue, he admitted that a few years ago, he had transferred about 750,000 Rial under the guise of constructing a mosque in Tul Karem.
Hamas’ involvement in escalating tensions at the Temple Mount
Tuama revealed that Hamas is behind the projects of the Islamic Movement Institution, Omara al Aqsa that acted to prevent visits of Jews in the Temple Mount using an array of hundreds of activists who stayed at the Temple Mount compound day and night.
In recent months, the institution carried out increased violence at the Temple Mount. In some of these incidents, Israeli police had to close the Mount for visits of Jewish people. Late last year, the ISA and Israeli police administratively closed the institution after discovering its links to Hamas and the Islamic Movement, sometimes for violent purposes.
Tuama’s file was transferred to the Military Prosecution Service and on Thursday his indictment was submitted to the Military Court.
Thanks to the IDF Blog for this report