Hamas has been hiding its headquarters and arsenals in a new type of building, a special report from the Center for Intelligence and Counterterrorism revealed Tuesday.
Mosques and minarets in Gaza have been converted to centers of war, according to the report, which was penned after Hamas officials leveled accusations against Israel after the Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck the mosque in the Alfaruk Nuseirat "refugee camp" in central Gaza.
According to Israeli sources, the mosque was used as a compound for Hamas to plan and launch attacks, guard weapons, host training camps, and harbor terrorists.
Hamas officials claim that attacks on the mosques are "barbaric," masking their uses as terror centers.
"This is the true face of the Israeli Occupation," Dr. Hassan Aldifi, Deputy Minister of Religious Endowments in Gaza, insisted to foreign media. Sheikh Yousef Aldais, Religious Endowments Minister in Ramallah, called the attacks "war crimes" and complained over "religious and cultural persecution."
However, as the report established, Hamas regularly uses mosques to mask terrorist activity.
"The mosque in Alfaruk is no exception," the report states. "Hamas and other terrorist organizations systematically use them for military and political uses throughout Gaza."
Their conversion to terror centers even finds legitimization in Islam, according to the report.
"The root of the military use for mosques is found in the views of both Sunni clerics and Shi'ite officials, among them Sheikh Aldais, that the use of mosques for jihad (a holy war) is legitimate," it says. "This perception is based on Islamic tradition (hadith) which states that the Prophet Mohammed, himself, used a mosque for military and political purposes - not just as a house of worship."
The report provides numerous instances of terror activity held in mosques, including "summer camps" for future terrorists this summer. Aerial photos from Operation Cast Lead also clearly depict terrorists launching rockets from the site.