Shin Bet: Hamas Agent 'Stole Turkish Funds From Mouths of the Poor'

The Shin Bet said its interrogation of Muhammad Murtaja, the coordinator of the Gaza branch of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, revealed how he had duped the organization by shifting funds to the military wing of the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza.

TIKA works on behalf of the Turkish government to advance humanitarian projects in the besieged Gaza Strip. The Shin Bet said one of Murtaja's schemes was to provide his superiors with a list of impoverished residents in the Gaza Strip who were candidates to receive financial aid.

It was the third such arrest in recent months by Israel, with a United Nations worker and the Gaza head of Christian charity World Vision having previously been accused of aiding Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip.

According to the findings of the investigation, Murtaja was recruited to Hamas in 2008 and has been an active Hamas member since 2009.

"The egotistical Hamas terror organization has robbed funds that are meant for the needy of Gaza from global organizations". He also is accused of directing food packages donated by the organization to Hamas commanders and their families.

IHH funds were allegedly used to host a public event celebrating Hamas fighters and granting them gift packages in the aftermath of Israel's 2014 military operation in (Operation Protective Edge) in Gaza.

Israel classifies Hamas as a terrorist movement, accusing it of attacking the country's territory.

The agency also accused Murtaja of involvement in other elements of Hamas military activity, including the storage of weapons in his home and the use of funds - intended for impoverished Gazans - to pay Hamas fighters.

"This fraud was carried out in collusion with the senior ranks of Hamas in Gaza, headed by Ismail Haniya", it added, referring to Hamas's former top leader in Gaza.

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