Shin Bet: Hamas Uses Satellite Broadcasts to Recruit, Instruct Terrorists

Palestinian members of al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, at a rally celebrating Hamas’s 31th anniversary, in Gaza City, on Dec. 16, 2018. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas tried to recruit Arabs who are Israeli citizens or residents – owners of “blue” Israeli identity cards – and used its satellite broadcaster Alaqsa to provide them with information on terror targets, the Shin Bet said Wednesday. The Arabs were residents of Yehudah and Shomron and of Yerushalayim.

The system has apparently been in place for years; the Shin Bet said that in recent years it has arrested dozens of terrorists who were involved in the terror ring. Besides the satellite broadcasts, Hamas used social media to connect with and instruct its terrorists.

The Shin Bet provided an example of how the system worked. Among those arrested in the plot was Kutiba Alno’aga, a 21-year-old resident of the town of Yatta, south of Chevron. He was arrested last December 18th, after it was determined that he had been in touch  with the gang for at least a year. He communicated directly with a Hamas terrorist named Mhmad Arbid, whom Alno’aga believed to be a journalist. In November, Arbid introduced Alno’aga to another individual, who told him he was a Hamas member, and urged Alno’aga to carry out a terror attack. In order to prove that he was indeed a Hamas agent, the individual told Alno’aga to choose a passage from the Koran and to watch Alaqsa. The passage was read aloud, convincing Alno’aga that he was indeed talking to a Hamas agent.

Others were recruited in this manner, the Shin Bet said, and the station’s broadcasts were also used to instruct terrorists how and when to carry out attacks. In a statement, the Shin Bet said that the plot was “just the latest in the long line of attempts by Hamas in Gaza to recruit terrorists in Yehudah and Shomron and in eastern Yerushalayim that have been foiled by the Shin Bet in recent years. So far our work has led to the arrests of dozens of terrorists. The continued activities of Hamas are a threat to the public, and create ongoing threats to all people of the region. The uncovering of this plot once again shows how Hamas cynically uses residents of Yehudah and Shomron to carry out operations.”