Daily Israel Report

Hamas Developing Israelophobia?

Terrorist group warns against callers who pose as phone company workers but are in fact Israeli operatives.

By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/19/2010, 6:16 PM / Last Update: 9/19/2010, 7:28 PM

Flash 90

Hamas appears to be developing a phobia of Israel's security forces, and is worried that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to collect intelligence on it through the telephone system, after issuing earlier warnings regarding the Facebook internet social network.

A Hamas website is currently running a warning to the Arab public regarding phone calls from Israeli intelligence officers pretending to be working for the Palestinian Authority phone company.

According to the report, the caller presents the name and ID number of the owner of the telephone line, and asks the owner to verify that the details are accurate. He then asks several questions about the number of people in the family, inquires who lives in the house and where the house is located.

The Hamas report instructs Arab readers to immediately hang up the phone when they receive such a call.

Several months ago, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza warned residents against the dangers of using the Facebook social network. The main danger, he said, was “activity by the Israeli Mossad, which uses such websites to collect intelligence on residents, blackmail them and cause them to collaborate with it.”

The Hamas government told its residents said it had arrested an Israeli espionage network that used social networking websites to recruit informants. The Israeli operatives, Hamas said, collect information about people through the social networks, then crosscheck it with other information in their possession, and use what they learn to pressure these people.

The IDF has also expressed concern over Facebook, warning its soldiers not to post sensitive information on the site. One concern is that terrorists could befriend soldiers on Facebook under a false identity and arrange meetings or persuade them to reveal classified information. Since 2008, a users' group of concerned Israeli civilians has reported security violations on Facebook.