The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday that a senior Hamas operative, was arrested last month as he tried to cross the border from Jordan into Israel. The operative, Mahmoud Toama (Tuama), revealed during his interrogation Hamas ties to the Islamic Movement in Israel and its activities in Jerusalem.
Mahmoud Toama (Tuama), told Shin Be that Hamas funds the Islamic Movement religious lessons on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to prevent Jews from entering the holy site.
According to Toama, Hamas has funded Islamic Movement projects in Jerusalem. One project paid for religious lessons for Arab youths on the Temple Mount, in an attempt to prevent Jews from entering the holy site. Hamas paid hundreds of youths NIS 4000-5000 per month to study at the site. The Shin Bet linked that project to an increase in the number of violent incidents and clashes with Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount in recent months.
Toama also revealed that Turkey and Qatar often host Hamas officials and provide the origanization with political and financial support. Hamas was raising funds in the Gulf using private companies, mostly in real estate, he said. Several years ago, Tuama transferred 750,000 Saudi rial, that were seemingly meant to fund the building of a mosque in Tulkarm, but in reality were used in Hamas operations.
According to an indictment filed on Thursday at the Samaria Military Court, Toama was in charge of Hamas’ financial overview committee. Up until recently, Hamas’s main funder was Iran, but in the last year, Tehran’s backing stopped, likely due to Hamas’ ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo