‘Hamas given charity’s cash’
A SENIOR aid worker in Gaza has been arrested on suspicion of channelling charity funds to the Islamist terrorist group Hamas.
Muhammad Murtaja, who is employed by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (Tika), has been accused by Israeli officials of “cooperating with Hamas; being a member of an enemy organisation; having contact with enemy spies; and plotting against state security”.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said Mr Murtaja was arrested at the Erez checkpoint between Gaza and Israel last month while travelling to take part in a training course run by Tika. The IDF alleges that Mr Murtaja had an ulterior motive for the trip: the intention “to acquire information that would increase the accuracy of Hamas rockets launched at Israel”.
The IDF claims that Mr Murtaja, who is Palestinian, has been working for the military branch of Hamas for a decade.
As the Tika coordinator in Gaza since 2012, Mr Murtaja would pass lists of Gaza residents eligible for financial assistance to Tika. The IDF alleges these were in fact lists of Hamas terrorists and their families.
Mr Murtaja denies all allegations.