(New York, N.Y.) — Last week, Israel’s Shin Bet security service announced it had foiled an attempted bombing in April by Hamas and arrested a suspect, Israeli-Arab citizen Muhammed Nadir Mahajneh. According to the indictment against Mahajneh, Hamas had recruited him to scout potential targets in northern Israel and Tel Aviv. The disclosure follows dozens of rocket attacks last month from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip targeting Israeli civilian areas, resulting in Israeli retaliatory strikes against Hamas military posts across Gaza.
Despite the uptick in Hamas’s violence and terrorist designations by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Australia, Hamas continues to receive hospitable treatment from other foreign governments. Last month, Swedish Member of Parliament Jamal El-Haj attended a conference organized by the European Palestinians Conference, which is affiliated with Hamas and opposed by the Palestinian Authority. In March, a high-level delegation of Hamas leaders met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow against the backdrop of meetings between senior Israeli and Ukrainian leaders.
Most recently, Hamas won a strategic victory with the re-election of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Hamas released a statement congratulating Erdoğan on the win. During Erdoğan’s tenure in Turkey, Hamas has conducted military training exercises in the country, hosted events, and opened a bureau in Istanbul from which it has coordinated terror attacks and terror financing in the West Bank. Hamas’s leaders have also found safe haven in Qatar, whose leaders have bankrolled Hamas’s Gaza government and referred to former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal as a “dear guest” in Qatar.
Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood that emerged in the Gaza Strip in the late 1980s, blends Islamism and Palestinian nationalism and seeks to replace Israel entirely with an Islamic Palestinian state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Hamas has remained to committed to terrorism, using suicide bombings, rocket and mortar attacks, shootings, and kidnappings as its preferred methods.
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