Shin Bet security service report that their offices served as Islamist movement’s base of operations in Israel’s capital.
Israeli security forces on Thursday closed two offices in East Jerusalem they say served as a base for Hamas operations in the city.
The Shin Bet security service said the offices belonged to Al-Quds Development and Amara al-Aqsa (Al-Aqsa Properties), charities based in the northern Israeli cities of Umm al-Fahm and Nazareth.
The Shin Bet said in a statement that agents and the Israel Police had closed “two Jerusalem offices, from which the Hamas terror organization had been conducting actions.”
The statement said the Al-Quds Development office was first closed in 2010, “after it emerged that they served as an executive arm” for Hamas in Jerusalem. It reopened in 2012 after the police closure order expired, at which point the Shin Bet began to reevaluate the organization’s activities.
Thursday’s closure came “following up-to-date information that Hamas … continues to act there,” the security agency said.
Amara al-Aqsa was closed due to “information on activities aiding and supporting Hamas in Jerusalem,” the Shin Bet said, which also “led to violence against visitors and security forces on the Temple Mount.”
On Wednesday, dozens of Palestinian women and men affiliated with Amara al-Aqsa tried to prevent Israeli police from entering the Al-Aqsa mosque after a small Islamist demonstration was held at the flashpoint religious site near the Western Wall revered by Jews.
The Shin Bet said it also searched the Nazareth offices of Amarat al-Aqsa.
Representatives of the institutions were not immediately available for comment.
View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.556919