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Inside Stasi-like secret police run by ‘Gaza’s Bin Laden’ to quash dissent & his chilling plans for Turkey terror base

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HAMAS terror chief Yahya Sinwar used a secret police force in Gaza to spy on Palestinians, journalists and those who opposed his regime.

Sinwar, dubbed Gaza’s “Bin Laden”, oversaw the Stasi-like unit’s efforts to squash dissent in the Strip and its plans for a terror base abroad.

Palestinians protest against Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip

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Palestinians protest against Hamas rule in the Gaza StripCredit: AP
Palestinian civilians scramble through rubble after an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip

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Palestinian civilians scramble through rubble after an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza StripCredit: AFP
Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas, is still hiding from Israeli forces

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Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas, is still hiding from Israeli forcesCredit: Getty Images – Getty
After more than six months of war in Gaza, the Strip has been all but destroyed

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After more than six months of war in Gaza, the Strip has been all but destroyedCredit: AP

A dense network of informants included some who even reported their neighbours to the terror group’s agents, leaked Hamas documents have revealed.

The trove of internal files, seen by The New York Times, details the twisted reach of the General Security Service secret police inside Gaza.

Ordinary Palestinians were blacklisted for attending protests against the terrorist regime, or for publicly criticising the group.

The “Stasi” like group even followed people to work out if they were pursuing romantic relationships outside of marriage.

READ MORE ON ISRAEL HAMAS WAR

Members of the press and those suspected of behaving immorally were followed closely while GSS agents would scour social media for criticism.

Political opponents would be defamed and protests were seen as threats that needed to be cut out.

This General Security Service is just like the Stasi of East Germany

Michael Milshtein, former Israeli intelligence officer

Israeli military officials said the files included information on more than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

They believe Yahya Sinwar oversaw the group personally, and showed the New York Times a 62-slide presentation on its activity which they believe was drawn up for him.

Former Israeli intelligence officer Michael Milshtein said: “This General Security Service is just like the Stasi of East Germany.

“You always have an eye on the street.”

One document titled “Founding a base in Turkey”, seen by The Times, was found in the home of Hamza Abu Shanab – Yahya Sinwar’s chief of staff.

It exposed plans by the terror group to establish a security base outside of the Strip that could “carry out intelligence and military operations in the future”.

A three-year plan included “setting up many military cells and safe houses in many countries”.

Hamas would then “train the military cells” and pursue the “practical planning of sabotage and assassination” of Israeli intelligence officers and officials.

Details in the plan suggest the base would be set up in Turkey.

The GSS, according to a Palestinian familiar with Hamas inner workings, formed one of three key branches for the terror group’s organisation.

The others are Military Intelligence, focusing on Israel and the Internal Security Service, an arm of the Interior Ministry.

Made up of 856 people before war broke out after the October 7, the group stacked up a monthly expense of $120,000.

They relied more on censorship, intimidation and surveillance to squash dissent than physical violence.

It is unclear how, where or to what extent the group is operating today more than six months into the war.

The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas

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The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of HamasCredit: EPA
Palestinians have experienced food shortages and blockades for years - but after more than six months of war with Israel are near starvation in the Strip

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Palestinians have experienced food shortages and blockades for years – but after more than six months of war with Israel are near starvation in the StripCredit: Getty
Civilians in Gaza protest against blockades and life under Hamas, 2019

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Civilians in Gaza protest against blockades and life under Hamas, 2019Credit: Reuters

War in Gaza

ISRAEL is currently gearing up to launch a full-scale invasion of Rafah, where Palestinians have been sheltering during the war.

Stark images showed hordes of troops and tanks massed on the edge of the borderland this morning.

The US revealed today that the IDF had gathered enough manpower around Rafah to penetrate the refugee area.

Israeli officials have reportedly spent weeks evacuating civilians from the area, where 1.3 million Palestinians were sheltering.

The UN estimates that 450,000 people have been forced to flee Rafah, presumably leaving hundreds of thousands behind as Israel prepares to invade.

The IDF claims Rafah is the final Hamas stronghold in the Strip.

International human rights groups, charities, leaders and academics have warned Israel of the enormous humanitarian catastrophe that could unfold in attacking Rafah.

The White House said on Monday that Israel has yet to provide a plan for protecting civilians in this next step.

The UN says around 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since October, when Hamas crossed the border and killed 1,200 Israeli civilians.

Bombardment from all sides

Since Hamas’ takeover in 2007, Israel has held a blockade around Gaza preventing the movement of people and of essential goods.

Humans rights groups have said the blockades amount to a war crime, enforcing collective punishment on innocent Palestinians for the crimes of Hamas.

It has led to the Strip being called an “open-air prison”, exacerbated in October last year when Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced a “total blockade”.

They cut off food, water, medicine, fuel and electricity.

In October last year Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard warned that Israel should “lift its illegal 16-year blockade on the Gaza Strip”.

One journalist named in the exposed Hamas files, Ehab Fasfous, told The New York Times: “We’re facing bombardment by the occupation [Israel] and thuggery by the local authorities. [Hamas]”

Sinwar’s secret police force dubs the journalist as among “the major haters of the Hamas movement”.

Some of the slides exposed from the file recovery included information on the Gazan “We Want to Live” protests.

The movement, founded in 2019, opposed the Hamas regime and saw Palestinians rise up against the blocking of electricity, access to drinking water, food, education and freedom of speech.

While attacking opponents, the files said agents would use “a number of offensive and defensive media campaigns to confuse and influence adversaries by using private and exclusive information”.

Fasfous was stopped by two plain clothed agents on his way to a protest when they took his phone and found “suspicious” Israeli contacts.

He said they then sent flirtatious messages to a colleague – trying to trap him in a “moral violation”.

Israeli president Isaac Herzog has blamed Gazans for not rising up against Hamas before the October 7 attacks.

He said: “There’s an entire nation that is responsible.

“This rhetoric about civilians were not aware, not involved, it’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up.”

But the leaked files reveal the extent of crackdowns in the Strip on anyone who tried to do so.

Two little boys watch Israeli strikes east of Rafah on Monday

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Two little boys watch Israeli strikes east of Rafah on MondayCredit: AFP
Israeli tanks massing at the Rafah border ready to launch their invasion

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Israeli tanks massing at the Rafah border ready to launch their invasionCredit: REUTERS/Amir Cohen
Hamas members on an Israeli tank near the Gaza border, October 7

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Hamas members on an Israeli tank near the Gaza border, October 7Credit: AP

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