Hamas Operations in Turkey
(Communicated by the ISA)
12 february 2018
The following has been cleared for publication:
The Israel Security Agency (ISA) and Israel Police, last month, arrested two
men who are suspected of having been recruited for Hamas activity, the
origin of which was in Turkey.
On 1 January 2018, a Turkish citizen, Cemil Tekeli, a lecturer in law, was
arrested on suspicion of aiding Hamas terrorists in Turkey. On 21 January,
Dara'am Jabarin, an Israeli citizen and resident of Umm al-Fahm was also
During the investigation it was learned that the two had been recruited in
Turkey by senior Hamas terrorist Zaher Jabarin, who was released in the
Shalit deal. He is responsible for Hamas' budget and promotes ramified
terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria on instruction from Salah Aruri,
who serves as the deputy chairman of the organization and head of its
operations in the West Bank.
Investigation of Cemil Tekeli
In Tekeli's investigation, it was learned that Turkey contributes to the
military strengthening of Hamas via – inter alia – the SADAT company that
was established at the behest of Adnan Basha, an adviser who is close to
Turkish administration officials. The company was founded to assist – with
funds and war materiel – the creation of the 'Palestine Army', the goal of
which is to fight Israel. One of its employees even helped senior Hamas
officials to visit a 2015 weapons show in Turkey, during which they
expressed interest in UAVs.
During the investigation It became clear that Hamas is in direct contact
with Turkish authorities via Jihad Ya'amur, a terrorist who was involved in
the abduction of IDF soldier Nahshon Waxman and was released in the Shalit
The investigation showed that, in 2012, Tekeli was asked to help Hamas
terrorists who had gone to Turkey become personally and economically
established. Most of the terrorists in question had been released in the
Shalit deal and were involved in attacks that claimed Israeli lives. Tekeli
assisted them in obtaining visas that allowed them to stay in Turkey, in
purchasing and renting commercial and residential properties, in purchasing
luxury vehicles and in becoming established in business via the registration
of companies in their names.
Investigation findings have revealed wide-ranging Hamas activity in money
laundering in Turkey on instruction from Zaher Jabarin, while concealing
from the authorities the sources of the funds. The investigation showed that
Hamas members owned the IMES company which served as a cover for the
laundering of millions of US dollars that were transferred to the Gaza Strip
and various countries.
Investigation of Zaher Jabarin
IMES's importance to Hamas was revealed in the investigation of Dara'am
Jabarin, who was recruited to Hamas by Zaher Jabarin while visiting Turkey.
The initial contact with Dara'am was under the cover of IMES commercial
activity. Dara'am visited Turkey frequently over the next 18 months and was
asked by his handlers to transfer Hamas funds from Turkey to Judea and
Samaria. His handlers in Turkey gave him hundreds of thousands of Euros for
Hamas's military infrastructure. He hid the funds in various secret
locations in Judea and Samaria. A search of his home uncovered 91,000 Euros
which were due to be transferred to Judea and Samaria.
The investigation revealed that Dara'am's activities were carried out at the
behest of Zaher Jabarin and his chief aide Salameh Mar'i, whom Tekeli had
helped establish in Turkey. Salameh Mari was also released in the Shalit
deal and had been involved in a March 1993 terrorist attack near Burkin in
which an IDF soldier was murdered.
Pursuant to the investigation, additional suspects – residents of Umm
al-Fahm who had assisted Dara'am – were also detained.
Cemil Tekeli was deported from Israel upon the conclusion of his
investigation. Dara'am Jabarin is due to go on trial in the coming days.
The findings of the investigation underscore the fact that Hamas' ramified
economic and military activity in Turkey takes place unhindered as Turkish
officials turn a blind eye and – on occasion – encourage it, and with the
assistance of Turkish nationals, some of whom are close to the government.
This activity relies on – inter alia – business platforms that serve Hamas
in laundering funds that are transferred to Judea and Samaria and used in
recruiting Israelis to its ranks.