[Video below.] Gaza-based terror group Hamas is planning to encourage attacks against Israel as well as sap support in the West Bank from the Palestinian Authority (PA) by exploiting the Islamist “Dawa” social and cultural movement, a security source told the Ma’ariv daily on Sunday.
The PA had actively sought to stymie Hamas inroads in areas under it’s control, prior to the recent unity agreement between the two former rivals, but since then, all bets are off, Israeli security officials caution.
“In the long run, Hamas intends to create an alternative civilian infrastructure that will enable the replacement of the PA’s secular government with an Islamic government whose ideology will be similar to that of Hamas,” according to the Israel Security Agency (ISA) – aka the Shabak.
“The Dawa network – Hamas’ socio-economic infrastructure – is a central element in Hamas’ activity and a principal method employed to achieve its goals,” according to the ISA, who contend that “Hamas’ Dawa activity appears to bequeath Islamic education and values to the Palestinians in order to make them more religious.”
“Hamas’ goal is to expand and strengthen its status among the Palestinians, bring them closer to its ideology, including the notion of Jihad against Israel, and even recruiting on its behalf supporters and partakers in terrorist activities,” according to the ISA.
Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on Sunday slammed the Fatah-Hamas alliance, in opening comments at the government’s weekly cabinet session.
“Anyone hoping that the Palestinian Union of Fatah and Hamas will make Hamas more moderate is wrong,” Netanyahu charged.
“Instead of the PA taking control in Gaza, there are more and more signs that the exact opposite will happen,” he said, adding that “This means Hamas will increase its control over the PA in Judea and Samaria.”
While the security official admitted to the newspaper that, “we can’t shut down a Hamas kindergarten in Nablus, and there’s not a lot we can do about it,” he added that Israel must “keep tabs on and raise awareness of such activities.
“We view it as an important question, since such civilian activities are likely to strengthen the organization, and increase the likelihood of terror attacks.”
The ISA notes that Hamas’ activities are offered to the general Palestinian public, and not only to its followers. “As a result, the Palestinians are committed to Hamas in terms of ideology and values, and even in financial dependency on the assistance it provides,” the ISA said.
View a video (Hebrew) of recent Hamas activities among Palestinian students HERE.