Cleared for publication: The Shin Bet and police arrested a number of senior Hamas
members in recent months on suspicion of working to raise funds from foreign countries and boost the organization's presence in east Jerusalem.
The activists were charged at the Jerusalem District Court with money laundering, being active in a terror organization and using property for terrorist purposes.
The Shin Bet referred to the activists as a "small council" responsible for financing Hamas' activities in the city. The council had several committees in charge of implementing Hamas' social, religious and educational operations.
According to the Shin Bet, "The activities were aimed at creating solidarity with Hamas, thereby strengthening its presence and position among the east Jerusalem population."
The indicted activists include:
- Yakub Abu Atzav, 39, of the Old City of Jerusalem, who was accused of heading the "small council." Six years ago, he was convicted by the Judea Military Court for bringing terror funds from abroad which were used to finance Hamas' preparation for the West Bank elections.
- Kafeh Sarhan, 41, of Silwan, who was accused of serving as the financial officer of the "small council".
- Ahmed Alian, 35, of Beit Safafa, who was accused of being in charge of Hamas' activity in the Jerusalem neighborhood.
- Fouad Hamadia, 42, of Wadi Joz, who was accused of serving as head of the religious committee in Jerusalem.
- Ashraf Ashur, 33, of Ras al-Amud, who was accused of helping bring in terror funds in order to finance Hamas' activity in Jerusalem.
The Hamas members were charged with raising funds abroad in order to promote and finance the organization's activity in Jerusalem.
According to the Shin Bet, the men transferred some NIS 2.5 million (about $660,000) to the organization while presenting fictitious contracts and committing economic offenses, including money laundering.