The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced Thursday that a senior Hamas operative, who was arrested at the Allenby Bridge last month, revealed during his interrogation that Hamas uses the Islamic Movement in Israel as a front to advance its activities and goals in Jerusalem.
The operative, Mahmoud Toama, is a member of Hamas's General Shura Council, headed by Khaled Mashaal, which is the body responsible for making all of the organization's policy decisions in all fields, including military decisions, according to the Shin Bet.
Hamas uses the Islamic Movement to transfer money to projects in Jerusalem, such as paying for Arab youths to remain constantly on the Temple Mount in the guise of religious students in order to prevent Jewish pilgrimage to the holy site, Toama told the Shin Bet.
Hamas pays the youths a permanent salary of NIS 4,000-5,000 each month. Toama added that Hamas keeps its ties with the Islamic Movement secret in order to prevent the movement from entanglements with Israeli authorities.