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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

'Our friends the Saudis' finance Hamas

The Jerusalem Post has a lengthy story today about how the General Security Service (Shin Bet) broke up an attempt by Hamas to 'take over' the Temple Mount. Buried in the middle of the story is this little tidbit:
The Shin Bet also focused its operations in curbing the flow of money into Hamas. A senior Hamas official, Yakub Abu Assab, was arrested for allegedly running a courier service that transferred funds from the West Bank and abroad to the Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem. Israeli efforts to stop Hamas also included the arrests of Hamas parliamentarians, including Khaled Abu Afa, former Hamas minister for Jerusalem affairs.

During a year-long operation, Shin Bet arrested 11 Hamas officials based in Jerusalem, 10 of whom hold Israeli identity cards. All 11 detainees were due to be indicted for membership in a terror group and for financing illegal terror activity.

The Jerusalem Hamas operations received their funding from the Union of Good - an umbrella charity organization based in Saudi Arabia that has been outlawed by Israel - which used money changers, bank accounts in the West Bank, and couriers to send the money to local charity organizations, which then transferred cash to the Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem. In the last 18 months, Hamas's Jerusalem headquarters received more than NIS 1 million in this fashion.
Now I know why 'moderate' 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Ismail Haniyeh was willing to let the Saudis 'mediate' between him and 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen.


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