Did Hamas penetrate US Consulate in Jerusalem?

The US Consulate in Jerusalem

US Consulate

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
I was first alerted to this story by staff at the The Jerusalem Post on January 9, but I thought I would wait for follow-up stories in the US media before reporting it on this website. Strangely, none have appeared. The report reveals that, in 2006, a Palestinian working for the US Consulate in Jerusalem was fired because his late father had strong links with Hamas. But now the former employee, Azam Qiq, is suing the Consulate, claiming he was fired unlawfully without receiving severance pay. From 2003 to 2006, Qiq was an award-winning mechanic, whose job was to oversee the Consulate’s diplomatic car fleet. But in February of 2006, when Qiq’s father, Hassan Qiq, died, US Consulate workers noticed that several Hamas officials were in attendance at his funeral, which was apparently “lined with Hamas flags”. In the funeral service brochure, the deceased was described as a founding member of Hamas. A month after the funeral, Israeli security service Shin Bet arrested Azam and his brother for allegedly “hiding a suitcase full of documents pertaining to Hamas finances”. Shortly afterwards, the US Consulate fired Qiq, citing “the sensitivity of [Qiq] having access to the consulate’s motor pool, which doesn’t just service consulate workers but also serves VIPs who come frequently to Jerusalem on official US government business”. What is the extent of Qiq’s connection with Hamas, if any? If there is a connection, does it mean Hamas actually managed to penetrate the US Consulate in the Israeli capital? More importantly, why did US Consular workers not investigate Qiq’s known family connections with Hamas, when they hired him? The Post reports that Qiq did undergo a background check by the Consulate’s security team. So far, both the US Consulate and Qiq are refusing to comment on the case.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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