Hamas openly operating from mosques in eastern Jerusalem

“The real PA elections in Jerusalem are happening in the street, and so far the winner is Hamas,” said Maor Tzemach, chair of NGO Your Jerusalem.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The Hamas terror group is using an eastern Jerusalem mosque as an operational center, Israeli NGO Your Jerusalem revealed Thursday.

A cellphone video published by the group showed young men inside a mosque in the Arab town of Anata, which is partially under Israeli control and borders the Shuafat eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, holding Hamas flags on Thursday morning.

A different video of the same mosque captures a message made via the mosque’s muezzin (speaker), encouraging local young men to participate in an “uprising and [show of] resistance against Israeli activities in Sheikh Jarrah and Gaza.”

The message also called for youth to “confront the soldiers at the Shuafat checkpoint.”

“Once again, in broad daylight, terrorists are encouraged to go out and attack IDF soldiers, in the State of Israel,” said right-wing NGO Im Tirtzu in a statement.

“The Terrorism Law stipulates that anyone who supports or encourages terrorism is liable to be imprisoned. We wonder when the law will be enforced in mosques. It is a sick evil that must be uprooted.”

“The mosques in Jerusalem and the surrounding area have become a source of incitement against the state of Israel,” Maor Tzemach, chair of Your Jerusalem, told World Israel News.

Tzemach said that the call for an uprising directly came from Hamas leadership. “Israel must act and stop Hamas’ activities in Jerusalem, and if necessary, even [send security forces to] enter the mosques for that purpose,” he said.

Tzemach told WIN that this is not an isolated incident – rather, Hamas is utilizing local mosques as part of its strategy to expand its presence in the capital and the Judea and Samaria region.

Referencing the Palestinian Authority elections scheduled for May 2021 that were cancelled by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Tzemach suggested that Hamas’ uptick in activity was a form of electioneering.

“The real PA elections in Jerusalem are happening in the street, and so far the winner is Hamas,” he said.

“We saw on social media that Hamas is clearly active on the Temple Mount, as they raised their flags there [during the riots in early May].

“Hamas chief Mohammed Deif publicly took responsibility for Jerusalem and said that if [Israel doesn’t withdraw from Temple Mount], we’ll go to war against Israel, and that’s exactly what happened.

“From that moment, it proved that Fatah just threatens but doesn’t actually do anything. The real ‘defender of Jerusalem’ is Hamas. When it comes to Sheikh Jarrah and al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas was the only terror group that actually responded.

“Fatah activists don’t dare enter the Temple Mount, because it’s Hamas territory. As we saw in a viral video, Fatah members who tried to enter were beaten up and thrown out of the compound,” Tzemach said.