Report: Hamas Ran Stasi-like Secret Police Spying On Gazans’ Personal Lives

Yayha Sinwar in Tunnel (IDF)

Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that brutally attacked Israel on October 7, ran a secret police agency that spied on the personal lives of Gaza residents in a style reminiscent of the Stasi, the notorious East German spy agency.

The New York Times broke the story Monday, using documents that Israeli forces said they found while raiding Hamas posts in Gaza, and which the Times reporters corroborated by talking to the targets of Hamas surveillance.

The Times reported:

The unit, known as the General Security Service, relied on a network of Gaza informants, some of whom reported their own neighbors to the police. People landed in security files for attending protests or publicly criticizing Hamas. In some cases, the records suggest that the authorities followed people to determine if they were carrying on romantic relationships outside marriage.

The General Security Service is formally part of the Hamas political party but functions like part of the government. One Palestinian individual familiar with the inner workings of Hamas, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, confirmed that the service was one of three powerful internal security bodies in Gaza. The others were Military Intelligence, which typically focuses on Israel, and the Internal Security Service, an arm of the Interior Ministry.

With monthly expenses of $120,000 before the war with Israel, the unit comprised 856 people, records show. Of those, more than 160 were paid to spread Hamas propaganda and launch online attacks against opponents at home and abroad. The status of the unit today is unknown because Israel has dealt a significant blow to Hamas’s military and governing abilities.

The Hamas secret police would use the information they found to intimidate potential dissenters, the Times noted. Hamas also reportedly tried to destroy people’s personal lives by framing them in contrived extramarital affairs.

The Stasi, according to the official German archives, “was both intelligence service and secret police and it engaged in severe violations of civil and human rights. The SED [Socialist Unity Party], the governing state party in the GDR [German “Democratic” Republic, the official name for communist East Germany], used the Stasi as an instrument to systematically monitor its own population and to assert its claim to power through repression.”

Israel has found many troves of intelligence, and piles of cash, in underground lairs abandoned by fleeing Hamas leaders during the war.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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