IDF: Hamas Officials in Hiding Across Middle East Exceeds 25%

The top brass of the terror organization Hamas is living and operating outside of the Gaza Strip, according to the Military Intelligence Directorate. Over a quarter of Hamas officials, including top official Ismail Haniyeh, are operating outside Gaza in countries such as Iran, Qatar, Lebanon, and Turkey. Haniyeh, who met with Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, heads Hamas’s political bureau, which is based in Doha, Qatar. The leaders of Hamas are divided into three sectors – the West Bank, the Strip, and foreign affairs. Some of Hamas’s foreign affairs chiefs operate outside in various countries, directing terror and fundraising. Hamas leaders also have heavy influence over the terror organization’s Shura council, which is made up of representatives from the three branches of operation, as well as representatives of Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israeli prisons. This allows them to manipulate the daily happenings on the ground in Gaza and redirect the most critical needs of Gazan civilians. The Jerusalem Post reported that Muhammad Qassem Sawalha, a Hamas terrorist who ran operations in the West Bank, has been enjoying life in a state-funded home in London. Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri, who is in charge of Hamas’s West Bank wing, currently operates in Lebanon. According to the IDF, Arouri and other leaders abroad spearhead terror activities against Israelis and other targets in Muslim countries as well as in Muslim communities in the West.