Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

Other Pages

Policy Analysis

Articles & Op-Eds

Kidnapped Israeli Teens Compel Scrutiny of Hamas's International Finances

Matthew Levitt

Also available in العربية

New Republic

June 24, 2014

Israeli authorities have been targeting the group's financial networks in Europe and elsewhere for some time.

As Israeli military and intelligence officers fan out across the West Bank searching for the three kidnapped Israeli teens (one is a dual U.S. citizen), they are targeting not only known Hamas militant operatives but also the movement's political, social, and financial institutions. These arrests and raids are aimed not only at uncovering intelligence on the perpetrators of the kidnapping and location of the three boys, but also at uprooting the financial and civilian infrastructure that the movement has worked long and hard to rebuild in the West Bank.

In fact, Israel has been quietly targeting Hamas's financial infrastructure for some time now as part of Operation Biur Hametz. (The name refers to the pre-Passover custom of burning any leftover bread before the onset of the holiday.) Much of Israel's focus the past few months has been on Hamas's financing from abroad, but the kidnappings have thrust this campaign into full throttle...

Read the full version of this article on the New Republic website.