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Hamas planned to attack Israeli embassy in Berlin, US military base in Germany

Illustrative - German police officer in front of a police car (Photo: Shutterstock)

A Hamas terror cell planned to attack the Israeli embassy in Berlin and a United States military base in Germany, according to Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Saturday.

In December, seven people, including four suspected Hamas terrorists, were arrested in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands for allegedly planning attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe. One of the suspects arrested in Berlin in December was accused of looking for hiding places for weapons for Hamas, and had the two targets described on his smartphone.

According to Welt am Sonntag, the suspect was of Lebanese origin and received instructions from Hamas officials in Lebanon.

Israel warned Europe about the threat posed by Hamas in December when personal letters signed by Israel’s Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli were sent to 20 European leaders. The letters contained evidence of Hamas terrorist activity and operatives of PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) in major European cities.

“Weeks have passed since the barbarism that Hamas committed against infants, children, the elderly, and thousands of Israeli citizens. This is not the time for ambiguity. I want to clarify this unequivocally. Hamas has proven that their goal is to kill Jews everywhere,” Chikli wrote.

“Since the massacre, calls for violence against Jews worldwide have increased by 120% – a shocking statistic. Unfortunately, Hamas's bloodlust is not limited to Israel and Jews but also extends to Europe and Christians. I want to remind you that in the past, Hamas members expressed the Islamic intention to conquer Europe,” he added.

In January, Israel reiterated its warning about a network of Hamas operatives in Europe, directed by terror leaders in Lebanon, with the intent to target Jewish and Israeli individuals on the continent. The Prime Minister’s Office said at the time that “the network had been planning to attack Israel’s embassy in Sweden, buy UAVs and utilize criminal organizations in Europe to support attacks,” according to The Times of Israel.

Israel has eliminated many of Hamas’ leaders in Lebanon, including deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri, and one of the founders of Hamas' military wing, who was also in charge of the group’s West Bank operations.

According to the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution, Germany’s domestic intelligence service, there are currently approximately 450 Hamas operatives in Germany. 

“Hamas sees Western countries such as Germany as a refuge in which the organization can concentrate on collecting donations, recruiting new supporters, and spreading its propaganda,” the German intelligence service said.

In February, Belgian Minister of Justice Paul Van Tigchelt confirmed that the Hamas terror organization operates in Belgium.  

“So far, we know that Hamas is active in Belgium through various companies. The activities (...) focus on lobbying and fundraising,” Tigchelt stated.

Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is a branch, previously stated that Hamas has operated in Europe for around 30 years, mostly through front organizations.

“Hamas has been in Europe for about 30 years. It's an open secret,” said Vidino, who serves as the director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.

“Of course, they don't call themselves Hamas. They will have names like Conference of Palestinians Abroad, Palestinians in (country name), Palestinian Students Abroad, and so on. But when you dig a bit, you find out who the people are behind these associations, and what their connections are back home. It's always the same cluster of 20-25 people," he explained.

“Their propaganda, their social media patterns, everything is Hamas. And it's very public and visible. This is a typical Muslim Brotherhood tactic. They come up with a million different names for their organizations, for two reasons: Firstly, they want to give the impression that it's a broad movement, so that when they organize a public event, there will be 50 participating organizations, or if they publish a public letter, there will be 50 signatory groups. Secondly, if one of these groups is taken down by law enforcement, well, there's all the other ones,” Vidino added.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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