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No Jihad in our Frontyard: Israel closes local Hamas branches of "My friend the prisoner" group

September 11, 2006

Published: 23:21 September 09, 2006

Hamas Branch in Israel Banned and Closed
12:05 Sep 08, '06 / 15 Elul 5766
by Ezra HaLevi

Defense Minister Amir Peretz announced the banning of an Israeli-Arab organization named "My Friend the Prisoner" Thursday, saying it was a full-fledged financial branch of Hamas in Israel.

"The organization was one of the most well-greased systems of transferring money from Hamas to jailed security prisoners in Israeli jails," a General Security Service (Shabak) statement read. "It constituted the long arm of the Hamas acting under the protection of Israeli law."

The group's main headquarters in the Galilee Arab village of Majd al-Krum was closed down Thursday, with computer hard-drives and other equipment confiscated during a raid by police special forces. Majdal A-Krum was struck by Katyusha missiles in the recent war, and its residents are now receiving aid from Israel's government.

Branches of the organization also exist in Hevron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, Shechem, Salfit, Kalkilya, Tul Karem and Jenin.

The group is run almost exclusively by people who themselves were at one point jailed for attacks on Israel.

Security Roundup
IDF soldiers involved in counter-terror operations throughout Judea and Samaria during the night arrested 9 suspects.

Arrests were made in Jenin, Ramallah, Jericho and the Bethlehem region. Suspects in custody include Islamic Jihad, Fatah Tanzim and Hamas terrorists.

In Palestinian Authority-assigned Kalkilya, a bomb was hurled at IDF soldiers operating there. No injuries were reported.

A senior member of the Al-Aksa Brigades terror organization was apprehended after a gunfight with IDF soldiers in a village near Jenin on Thursday. Rashid Zakarana was shot in the chest, according to local sources, during an exchange of gunfire with IDF troops after they surrounded his house prior to the arrest.

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