Israel busts Hamas money-smuggling terror cell

Israeli authorities exposed a terror ring that helped build and fund Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

By: World Israel News Staff

Israel’s combined security services were recently successful in taking down a Hamas terror ring that was entrusted with building and funding Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency), in conjunction with the Israel Police and the IDF, arrested several Hamas members in the Ramallah area who are suspected of having received tens of thousands of Euros, which were hidden throughout Judea and Samaria and were designated for Hamas activities.

On 7 March, a special undercover unit called “Mista’arvim,” disguised Border Police officers, arrested Hamas member Omar Kiswani, 24, at Bir Zeit University.

Kiswani, a resident of Beit Iksa, was the chairman of the student council on behalf of a Hamas-affiliated student group.

The Shin Bet’s investigation revealed that Kiswani was in contact with Hamas member Yassin Rabia, who had been expelled to the Gaza Strip as part of the deal to free IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, as well as Hamas members in Turkey, and had sought funds to advance Hamas’ activity at Bir Zeit University.

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Rabia subsequently transferred to Kiswani approximately 150,000 Euros which were concealed in several locations throughout Judea and Samaria. Kiswani collected the money along with his fellow Hamas student association member Yahya Alawi, 20.

The two used the funds to promote Hamas activities.

Hamas’ activity in universities

This incident “is yet another example of efforts by Hamas commanders in Turkey and the Gaza Strip to advance Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria,” the Shin Bet stated Thursday, when the case was publicized.

The Shin Bet noted that the investigation points to “the deep involvement of Hamas members in Turkey and the Gaza Strip in efforts to advance Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria.”

“Exposing the efforts of Kiswani and Alawi further underscores the importance Hamas command ascribes to student activities in its affiliated groups in order to recruit and train members in Judea and Samaria,” the Shin Bet said.

The case also demonstrates “the great danger” posed by student terror activity and “its status as a significant additional arm of Hamas, the goal of which is to harm the State of Israel, despite its taking place at an institution of higher learning,” the Shin Bet added.

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A Gaza-based Hamas cell which was exposed last year had recruited Bir Zeit University students to perpetrate suicide attacks. Additional Hamas student group members were also recently exposed for seeking to commit shooting attacks in the Ramallah area.