Israeli internal intelligence agency Shin Beth has accused Hamas, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, of recruiting two minors in the West Bank for “terrorist activities”.
The recruitment of the two youths from the city of Beit Ummar took place over the internet, according to an intelligence report published Monday. Contact with them was maintained regularly and for months on end via social networks.
According to the researchers, the minors would receive weapons, ammunition, uniforms and money.
They have also been asked to gather information about the Israeli settlements and to prepare for the kidnapping of an Israeli. According to the secret service, the young people were arrested and charged in October.
A representative of the Islamist Hamas movement in the West Bank rejected the allegations, calling them false. Since its inception, Hamas has never given permission to recruit minors, he said.
In recent years, he says, minors have acted alone in attacks, without instructions from Hamas or other groups.
Israel, the US and the EU classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Founded in 1987 and backed by Iran, the group denies Israel’s right to exist and demands the violent settlement of an Islamic Palestine from the Mediterranean to the Jordan.
His military arm has repeatedly carried out terrorist attacks on Israelis. Fatah, a rival of Hamas, rules the West Bank.