The following has been cleared for publication:
The Israel Security Agency (ISA), in cooperation with the IDF and the Israel Police, recently uncovered an infrastructure for transferring funds via couriers between Hamas command centers in Turkey and the Gaza Strip, and the Hamas command center in Hebron.
The axis began operation in early 2016 at the initiative of Muhammad Maher Bader, a senior Hamas activist in Hebron and member of the Legislative Council who recruited two couriers for transferring the funds – Muasseb Hashalmon, a Hamas activist from Hebron who was dispatched to Turkey under the guise of business trips, and who was joined by an additional recruit, Taha Othman, also a resident of Hebron.
Muasseb Hashalmon was asked to transfer terrorist funds from Turkey to Hebron. The funds were intended to finance the activities of members of Hamas' Hebron command center. He was also asked to transfer funds for Hamas terrorists who had been released from prison.
At the same time, two of Muasseb Hashalmon's partners – Yusri Hashalmon (his brother) and Omar Kimri – were in contact with Majad Jaba, a Hamas terrorist from Hebron who had been released in the Shalit exchange, and who assisted in coordinating the transfer of funds from Turkey.
Muasseb Hashalmon and Taha Uthman met several times in Turkey with a Hamas command center militant, Haroun Nasser Aldin from Hebron, who had also been released in the Shalit exchange.
Haroun Nasser Al-din would give the couriers tens of thousands of dollars. They, in turn, would buy goods in Turkey, send them to Hebron via international delivery companies. The goods would be sold and the funds given to Hamas militants in Hebron, minus fees. Haroun Nasser Al-din instructed the couriers to turn to Hamas militants in Hebron and offer them funds from the command center.
It was learned that almost $200,000 had been transferred until the ring was thwarted. There were also plans to build a cement factory with millions of dollars in Hamas financing that would serve as a front for money laundering.
The investigation has been concluded. The IDF military prosecutor is due to file indictments against those involved soon.
The uncovering of the infrastructure indicates the unrelenting motivation of Hamas militants in Turkey and the Gaza Strip to the increase of Hamas terrorism in Judea and Samaria. Hamas elements in the Gaza Strip and abroad recruit couriers from among residents of Judea and Samaria who are traveling abroad in order to transfer terrorist funds and deliver them to militants in the field. More than once Hamas abroad has recruited family members of the organization's militants in the field or has been assisted by merchants and businessmen who pay a significant personal and commercial price for this activity.
The ISA, IDF and Israel Police will continue to uncover and thwart terrorist operations directed by Hamas elements in the Gaza Strip and abroad.