Israel announced it cracked a Hamas ring that was building a Jerusalem power base. Eleven Palestinians from East Jerusalem are in custody on suspicion of raising money for Hamas terrorism and to enlist the support of Israeli Arabs, the Shin Bet announced Monday. The suspects — 10 of whom have Israeli identity cards — are accused of trying to establish virtual Hamas control of the Temple Mount by bankrolling renovations around two major Muslim shrines there. That was a direct threat to the prestige of Jordan, an Israeli ally that formally oversees the administration of the Temple Mount’s mosques. It was not immediately clear how the detainees would plead to the charges. Hamas declined comment. Israel has stepped up its scrutiny on suspected Hamas activities in Jerusalem since the radical Islamist group swept Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006.
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