A Hamas refugee who “led the group’s terror operations in the West Bank” lives in a council house in a north London neighborhood that is home to about a fifth of Britain’s Jewish community, a report shows.

Muhammad Qassem Sawalha, 62, who was a member of Hamas’ ruling body, managed to escape Israeli security services using a relative’s passport and traveled to Britain in the 1990s before later gaining British citizenship, The Times reports.

In Britain, Sawalha continued to work for Hamas. According to a 2004 U.S. Justice Department indictment, he held secret discussions about “resurrecting” terrorist attacks in Israel and assisting in money laundering to finance activities in the West Bank and Gaza.

In 2003, the father-of-four became a social tenant in a two-storey house with a garage and garden in Colindale, north London’s Barnet, where he lives with his 56-year-old wife Sawsan.

According to the Office for National Statistics, around 56,616 Jews live in the Barnet district, the highest Jewish population in Britain.

According to one report, 62-year-old Muhammad Qassem Sawalha, a member of Hamas’ leadership, managed to escape Israeli security services using a relative’s passport and travel to Britain in the 1990s, before later gaining British citizenship

The address is a 10-minute drive from two synagogues.

In June 2021, Sawalha and his wife used the Right to Buy scheme to buy their house for £320,700.

The council granted them a discount of £112,300 on the market value of the property, £500 less than the maximum discount available in the financial year. You do not have a mortgage on the property.

Under the Right to Buy scheme, council tenants are entitled to a discount on the market value of a property. According to the Land Registry, the average price of a house in the area is almost £600,000.

Council leader Barry Rawlings said he was “appalled to think about it.” [Sawalha] “could live in our midst” and noted that he had initiated a review.

He said: “We will work with other stakeholders, including the police and government, to review the full course of this case and take all appropriate action.”

“This has come at a time when local communities desperately need reassurance following the escalating conflict in the Middle East and we have a responsibility as a council to ensure we can provide that reassurance.”

In 2020, Rawlings said that campaign group UK Lawyers for Israel had disclosed Sawalha’s background to the council and that officers, as soon as they became aware of it, “reported it to the Met Police counter-terrorism unit”.

Officers from the National Terrorist Financing Investigation Unit determined whether the lease may have violated sanctions laws.

However, a spokesman said “the test of evidence was not passed” and there was no further action.

The sale of the property the following year was not investigated.

In 2019, Sawalha met Vladimir Putin’s deputy foreign minister at an official Hamas delegation in Moscow. He was a member of Hamas’ Politburo from 2013 to 2017 and was pictured with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in 2010 and 2012.

In 2009, Sawalha signed a statement praising Allah for “putting the Zionist Jews to flight,” advocating for the supply of weapons to Gaza, and calling for the establishment of a “Third Jihadist Front” in Palestine alongside Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Israeli Defense Ministry has officially classified Sawalha as a member of Hamas and he faces arrest if he returns.

Despite his controversial activities, Sawalha received a British passport in the early 2000s. Home Office guidance states that under normal circumstances anyone who “incites, justifies or glorifies” terrorist violence or “attempts to provoke others to commit terrorist acts” will be denied citizenship.

Sawalha has never been charged with any crimes in the UK.

Snapshots from a Reuters video: Footage shows fighters training ahead of the Hamas operation in Israel

Snapshots from a Reuters video: Footage shows fighters training ahead of the Hamas operation in Israel

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff on Saturday to protest and defend the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, following a violent response to horrific Hamas terror attacks against Israel earlier this month was.

Around 1,000 Met police officers are deployed to monitor events in the capital after a similar event last week saw a large crowd demonstrate in solidarity with Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip.

Protesters held signs reading “Freedom for Palestine,” “Stop the Bombing of Gaza,” and “End Israeli Apartheid.”

Participants called for an end to the Israeli blockade and airstrikes carried out in southern Israel following a brutal incursion by the Hamas terrorist group, which controls the Gaza Strip.

The border crossing between Egypt and Gaza opened on Saturday to allow a drop of much-needed aid into the besieged Palestinian territory for the first time since Israel’s lockdown following the bloody Hamas rampage two weeks ago.

Only 20 trucks were admitted, an amount that aid workers said was insufficient to deal with the unprecedented humanitarian crisis. More than 200 trucks carrying 3,000 tons of relief supplies have been waiting nearby for days.

Gaza’s 2.3 million Palestinians, half of whom have fled their homes, are rationing food and drinking dirty water.

Smoke rises as Israeli airstrikes continue on their 15th day in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, October 21, 2023

This aerial photo shows humanitarian aid trucks arriving from Egypt after crossing the Rafah border crossing and arriving at a camp in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, on October 21, 2023

Hospitals say they are running out of medical supplies and fuel for emergency generators due to a nationwide power outage.

The Hamas-run health ministry said five hospitals were no longer operating due to a lack of fuel and bomb damage.

Israel says Hamas has released two American hostages held in Gaza since the war began on October 7, but is still holding at least 210 prisoners.

Israel is still carrying out waves of airstrikes over Gaza, while Palestine is firing rockets back.

Israel’s military spokesman said the country plans to step up its attacks from Saturday to prepare for the next stage of its war against Hamas.

Asked about a possible ground invasion, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters that the military was trying to create optimal conditions in advance.

“We will increase our attacks to minimize the dangers to our forces in the next phases of the war.” “We will increase attacks starting today,” Hagari said, repeating his call for Gaza City residents to stay away for security reasons to go south.

There are growing expectations of a ground offensive that Israel says is aimed at destroying Hamas.

Israel said Friday that it has no plans to take long-term control of the small but densely populated Palestinian territory.

An Israeli ground attack would likely result in a dramatic escalation of casualties on both sides in urban fighting.

The war, which entered its 15th day on Saturday, is the deadliest of five Gaza wars for both sides.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said on Saturday that the death toll reached 4,385 and 13,561 people were injured.

More than 1,400 people were killed in Israel, most of them in the first attack on October 7th.

Source : www.dailymail.co.uk

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