Saudi Helping Hamas Gain Foothold on Temple Mount - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Joseph E . part 2
    • 11.07.07 | 16:52 (IDT)

    A high-ranking Shin Bet official was quoted by the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday as saying that the goal of Hamas is "to gain full control over the Temple Mount." According to the Shin Bet, Hamas headquarters abroad transferred cash to Hamas headquarters in Jerusalem through a Saudi-based umbrella organization called the 'Union of Good'. The money was used to fund Hamas activities on the Temple Mount, including large-scale evening meals during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The meals were intended to recruit support for Hamas. The money also was used for construction projects on the Temple Mount and for organizing guided tours of the Mount. Founded in 2000, the 'Union of Good' is an umbrella organization of more than 50 Islamic fund-raising groups worldwide and was banned by Israel in 2002. It is chaired by Qatari-based Sheikh Yussuf al-Qaradawi, an extremist Sunni Muslim cleric, who issued a fatwa (religious edict) authorizing suicide bombings against Israel. Hamas is the Palestinian Branch of the worldwide Muslim Brotherhood (which spawned terrorist organizations throughout the world), said Gold. Sheikh Qaradawi is "the greatest spiritual authority" for the Muslim Brotherhood, and his religious rulings appear on the Hamas website, Gold said. As for the involvement of a Saudi-based group, Gold said Riyadh is straddling the fence. "Saudi Arabia has a self-contradictory policy when it comes to Israel and solving the Arab-Israeli conflict," said Gold. "On the one hand, it talks about the Arab peace initiative, also known as the Saudi peace plan, which has received the praise of the Bush administration. "On the other hand, Saudi charities continue to fund Hamas and other terrorist organizations," said Gold. The U.S. Treasury Department designated two branches - the Philippines and Indonesia Branches -- of the Saudi-based International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) as conduits for funding al Qaeda last August, said Gold. "IIRO has also been a key backer of Hamas in the past." "The Saudis have to chose whose side they're on. Do they support building peace in the Middle East or the jihadi movements spreading terrorism from North Africa out to East Asia?" Gold said.

    from the article: Waqf Temple Mount excavation raises archaeologists' protests
    First published 00:00 11.07.07 | Last updated 00:00 11.07.07
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