The 45-year-old Alawi, a Palestinian who lives in Pakistan, served as
A-Jazeera's bureau chief in Afghanistan. He was arrested by Israeli
authorities on Aug. 9 at the Allenby Bridge
near Jordan on "suspicion of involvement in Hamas activities."
"During his investigation by the Israel Security Agency, Alawi admitted
that was he recruited in 1993, while in Pakistan, to Hamas," ISA said.
The ISA statement, issued on Sept. 27, marked the first formal link
Hamas and A-Jazeera. Israel and the United States have long asserted that
Islamic insurgency groups, including Al Qaida and Hamas, were using
A-Jazeera for operations, money transfers and recruitment.
Alawi, released on Sept. 26, was said to have been a member of the
Supreme Palestine Committee, which directs Hamas institutions. Until 2004,
ISA said, he also collected funds for Hamas, particularly the Al Aqsa
Association and the Palestinian Information and Media Center.
During that same year, Alawi was asked but declined to serve as Hamas
in Iran. Instead, Alawi joined A-Jazeera with the help of Hamas employees.
"In 2006, Alawi met with Hamas operatives in Qatar, who served as
A-Jazeera correspondents, and agreed with them that they would exploit their
work with A-Jazeera to strengthen Hamas by criticizing American
operations in Afghanistan and expressing support for the Palestinian
resistance," ISA said.
The Israeli statement did not say whether A-Jazeera's management was
aware that Alawi was a Hamas agent. In 2010, Alawi was said to have been
asked again to use the news channel to mobilize support for Hamas.
"Alawi was convicted on Sept. 26, 2011, according to his own confession,
in the framework of a plea bargain, of conspiracy on behalf of a banned
organization [Hamas]," the statement said. "He was fined, sentenced to time
already served and received a suspended sentence of three years."