Hamas Operations in Turkey

The following has been cleared for publication:
The Israel Security Agency (ISA) and Israel Police, last month, arrested two men who are suspected of having been recruited for Hamas activity, the origin of which was in Turkey.

On 1 January 2018, a Turkish citizen, Cemil Tekeli, a lecturer in law, was arrested on suspicion of aiding Hamas terrorists in Turkey. On 21 January, Dara'am Jabarin, an Israeli citizen and resident of Umm al-Fahm was also arrested.


During the investigation it was learned that the two had been recruited in Turkey by senior Hamas terrorist Zaher Jabarin, who was released in the Shalit deal. He is responsible for Hamas' budget and promotes ramified terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria on instruction from Salah Aruri, who serves as the deputy chairman of the organization and head of its operations in the West Bank.


Investigation of Cemil Tekeli:

In Tekeli's investigation, it was learned that Turkey contributes to the military strengthening of Hamas via – inter alia – the SADAT company that was established at the behest of Adnan Basha, an adviser who is close to Turkish administration officials. The company was founded to assist – with funds and war materiel – the creation of the 'Palestine Army', the goal of which is to fight Israel. One of its employees even helped senior Hamas officials to visit a 2015 weapons show in Turkey, during which they expressed interest in UAVs.


During the investigation It became clear that Hamas is in direct contact with Turkish authorities via Jihad Ya'amur, a terrorist who was involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman and was released in the Shalit deal.


The investigation showed that, in 2012, Tekeli was asked to help Hamas terrorists who had gone to Turkey become personally and economically established. Most of the terrorists in question had been released in the Shalit deal and were involved in attacks that claimed Israeli lives. Tekeli assisted them in obtaining visas that allowed them to stay in Turkey, in purchasing and renting commercial and residential properties, in purchasing luxury vehicles and in becoming established in business via the registration of companies in their names.


Investigation findings have revealed wide-ranging Hamas activity in money laundering in Turkey on instruction from Zaher Jabarin, while concealing from the authorities the sources of the funds. The investigation showed that Hamas members owned the IMES company which served as a cover for the laundering of millions of US dollars that were transferred to the Gaza Strip and various countries.

An account was opened for IMES with Turkey's Akbank. The company's chairman opened another another bank account under his name with Türkiye Finans Bank

Investigation of Zaher Jabarin:

IMES's importance to Hamas was revealed in the investigation of Dara'am Jabarin, who was recruited to Hamas by Zaher Jabarin while visiting Turkey. The initial contact with Dara'am was under the cover of IMES commercial activity. Dara'am visited Turkey frequently over the next 18 months and was asked by his handlers to transfer Hamas funds from Turkey to Judea and Samaria. His handlers in Turkey gave him hundreds of thousands of Euros for Hamas's military infrastructure. He hid the funds in various secret locations in Judea and Samaria. A search of his home uncovered 91,000 Euros which were due to be transferred to Judea and Samaria.


The investigation revealed that Dara'am's activities were carried out at the behest of Zaher Jabarin and his chief aide Salameh Mar'i, whom Tekeli had helped establish in Turkey. Salameh Mari was also released in the Shalit deal and had been involved in a March 1993 terrorist attack near Burkin in which an IDF soldier was murdered.


Pursuant to the investigation, additional suspects – residents of Umm al-Fahm who had assisted Dara'am – were also detained.


Cemil Tekeli was deported from Israel upon the conclusion of his investigation. Dara'am Jabarin is due to go on trial in the coming days.


The findings of the investigation underscore the fact that Hamas' ramified economic and military activity in Turkey takes place unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and – on occasion – encourage it, and with the assistance of Turkish nationals, some of whom are close to the government. This activity relies on – inter alia – business platforms that serve Hamas in laundering funds that are transferred to Judea and Samaria and used in recruiting Israelis to its ranks.