The Shin Bet
informed Tuesday that it has uncovered a Hamas-affiliated
organization that operated recently in the area of Jerusalem.
According to the report, 16 of the organization's members were arrested on suspicion of leading and funding security offenses in Jerusalem's neighborhoods and the Temple Mount,
and worked towards reinforcing Hamas' grip on the community in East Jerusalem. The arrests were carried out with cooperation of the Jerusalem District Police and Northern District Police.
Several activists of the northern wing of the Islamic Movement were also arrested for cooperating with Hamas in the Temple Mount.
According to the Shin Bet, Hamas' activity was masked behind an alleged educational project run by the Islamic Movement. In fact, the defense establishment claims, the project was aimed at increasing tensions in Jerusalem and creating public disturbances, especially around the times of Jewish holidays.
The Shin Bet argues that the project in question was partially operated and funded by Gaza's
Hamas, and an online video features Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh saying he promotes the funding of this project.
Among those arrested is Ibrahim Brakha, 39, from Sur Baher, who already served time in jail for operating under Hamas. According to the Shin Bet, he is a senior Hamas activist in East Jerusalem. Another detainee is Khalil Atia Mahamad Azawi, 41, from Abu Tor, who also served time in prison for a Hamas-related operation.
In addition, Majed Rajab Mahamad Ashur Juaba, 33, resident of the Old City, was also arrested, after he was released from prison less than a year and a half ago for being a member of a terrorist organization.
In recent months, he was making money transfers from the Gaza Strip to Hamas activists in Jerusalem. His brother was also arrested by the Shin Bet.
Several months prior to the multiple arrests, last November, two offices pertaining to institutions affiliated with the Islamic Movement in Jerusalem were shut down.