Israel’s Shin Bet security agency announced Monday that it has arrested two men, a Turkish national and an Israeli Arab, who are suspected of being recruited by Hamas, while also accusing Turkey of turning a “blind eye” to the Palestinian terror group’s economic and military activity in the country.
On Jan. 1, Turkish citizen Cemil Tekeli, a lecturer in law, was arrested on suspicion of aiding Hamas terrorists in Turkey. On Jan. 21, Israeli authorities arrested Dara’am Jabarin, a resident of the predominantly Arab city of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel.
According to the Shin Bet, the two men had been recruited in Turkey by senior Hamas terrorist Zaher Jabarin, who was released in Israel’s exchange of more than 1,000 prisoners for captured soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011. Jabarin, who takes orders from prominent Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri, is responsible for Hamas’ budgetary and terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria.
The Shin Bet said that in the course of the Tekeli investigation, it was discovered that Turkey contributes to the military strength of Hamas via the SADAT company, which was established at the behest of Adnan Basha, an adviser close to Turkish government officials. This company was founded to facilitate—with funds and weapons—the creation of a “Palestine Army,” whose goal is to fight Israel.
“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 Shin Bet stated.
Another shell company, IMES, served as a cover for the laundering of millions of dollars that were transferred to Gaza and various countries.
“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,” said the Shin Bet.
According to the security agency, Dara’am’s “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.”
The Shin Bet added that the investigation has revealed that Hamas’ 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.”