Israeli Arab Arrested for Links to Hamas, Accused of Meeting Senior Official in Turkey

By Yoni Weiss

Israeli authorities arrested Osama Al-Okbi, a resident of the Negev, and his wife Samah, both Israeli citizens from the Bedouin town of Hura. They are accused of having links with Hamas operatives abroad. Al-Okbi, formerly associated with the Islamic Movement’s Northern Branch (outlawed in 2015 for ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood), was known for delivering inciting sermons and posting violent content on social media related to the Temple Mount.

According to an indictment filed in the Be’er Sheva District Court, Al-Okbi is alleged to have met with senior Hamas officials abroad, including Saleh Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, during his last visit to Turkey in June 2023. Arouri, responsible for Hamas terror activities in Yehudah and Shomron, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in Beirut in January.

Financial records found in Al-Okbi’s home indicate that he transferred tens of thousands of shekels donated in Negev mosques to a Hamas operative in Gaza over the years. The police and Shin Bet also revealed his involvement in transferring money to the terror group. Al-Okbi’s arrest highlights concerns about individuals with Israeli citizenship collaborating with Hamas and engaging in activities that threaten national security.

The authorities have filed an indictment against the couple, revealing the alleged connections, financial transactions, and meetings between Al-Okbi and senior Hamas officials.

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