Hamas has been hiding its bases of operation in mosques and religious institutions, says a new report from the Center for Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. Arutz Sheva first reported on the findings, which were released Tuesday.
According to the report, Hamas has converted mosques and minarets throughout the region into headquarters for jihad, using the holy sites to store weapons, host and train terrorists and launch attacks.
Following an Israeli attack on a mosque in the Alfaruk Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, several Muslim leaders leveled charges of religious persecution against the embattled state.
“This is the true face of the Israeli Occupation,” Dr. Hassan Aldifi, Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments in Gaza, told foreign media.
Sheikh Yousef Aldais, Religious Endowments Minister in Ramallah, called the attacks “war crimes” and complained of “religious and cultural persecution.”
Tuesday’s report, however, establishes that the mosques in question are being used as a front for terror.
“The mosque in Alfaruk is no exception,” the report states. “Hamas and other terrorist organizations systematically use them for military and political uses throughout Gaza.”
Nor is this practice a recent invention. “The root of the military use for mosques is found in the views of both Sunni clerics and Shi’ite officials, among them Sheikh Aldais, that the use of mosques for jihad (a holy war) is legitimate,” the report says. “This perception is based on Islamic tradition (hadith) which states that the Prophet Mohammed, himself, used a mosque for military and political purposes – not just as a house of worship.”
“One must understand how our enemy operates,” Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out at the most recent cabinet meeting. “Who hides in mosques? Hamas. Who puts arsenals under hospitals? Hamas. Who puts command centers in residences or near kindergartens? Hamas. Hamas is using the residents of Gaza as human shields and it is bringing disaster to the civilians of Gaza; therefore, for any attack on Gaza civilians, which we regret, Hamas and its partners bear sole responsibility.”