"A Hamas 'charity' operating in Jerusalem is assisting in the absorption of the terror group's ideology," the capital's District Court determined Wednesday, after convicting three Israelis of activity in a terrorist organization.
Yakav Abu Asav, Qafah Sarhan and Ahmad Aliyan were part of the effort to establish Hamas' social infrastructure in the city. According to the indictment and ruling, the three served as the heads of Hamas' advisory council in Jerusalem and worked to boost Hamas' popularity among the capital's Muslim population in the city by promoting diverse activities in the fields of education, welfare and religious services.
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The courts said that as part of the illicit activity, Hamas operated an "activists' committee" in three different parts of the city. An advisory council comprised of key Hamas supporters from each part of the city would convene from time to time to promote the agenda of the Islamist group, which rules the Gaza Strip.
Judge Amnon Cohen said the supposed charitable activities served as the basis for the transition to terrorist activity. He said the charity organizations are a key component in Hamas' Dawah (proselytizing) system in the West Bank. According to Cohen, this is "a system of community services offered by Hamas to its supporters and the general Palestinian population in the fields of religion, medicine and welfare through the operation of a system of educational institutions for all ages that is concentrated near the mosques."
"This system of services, which supposedly has a humanitarian purpose, is meant to expand the public support base of the terror organization and create within the population an economic dependency on the terror group, as well create sympathy and a commitment to its path and values," the judge said.
A fourth defendant in the affair, Ashraf A'ashur, was recently convicted as part of a plea bargain of financing terror, after he worked to transfer funds to Hamas.
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