Itongadol.- Israeli military censors on Monday permitted the press to report that security agencies arrested a group of Palestinians as well as an Israeli Arab lawyer for acting as go-betweens in transmitting messages from Hamas to jailed Palestinians in Israeli facilities.
According to the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), evidence suggests that four Palestinians from the West Bank city of Nablus and an Israeli Arab lawyer from the Galilee village of Bana’a collaborated with Hamas operatives in the territories in order to coordinate steps between the Islamist organizations and Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli jails for terrorist offenses.
In a press release, the Shin Bet is alleging that the group of Palestinians – most of them attorneys who had access to prisoners and terror suspects – accepted large sums of money funneled by Hamas in Gaza. Israeli authorities are alleging that the attorneys exploited these contacts in order to aid Hamas in organizing activities from behind bars.
Those arrested have been identified as Fares Abu Hassan, a Nablus attorney who has represented Palestinians in IDF military tribunals and is the head of the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights in Nablus; Ahmed Khamad Suleiman Khadir Bitaoui, an SFHR employee who was responsible for maintaining ties with the Gaza Strip; Osama Hisham Hosni Makbul, also an attorney for SFHR who served time in prison for Hamas-related activities; and Narmeen Salam, who works as a secretary for SFHR.
The Israeli among the group who was arrested has been identified as Mohammed Khassin Abed, a resident of Bana’a who is also a member of the Israel Bar Association. Abed is known to assist Abu Hassan and his organization on all matters that need to be addressed with Israeli prisons.
The arrests were made in late February of this year, but censorship authorities in Israel lifted the embargo on the story on Monday.