Hamas authorities yesterday reopened the offices of the Gaza Strip’s only mobile telephone company, five days after closing them on accusations of tax-dodging.Fatah media, however, claim that Hamas used this as a pretext to have Jawwal allow Hamas to spy on the phones of Gazans.
A statement from attorney general Ismail Jaber’s office said that he had “ordered the reopening” of telecom provider Jawwal in Gaza City, but it did not give reasons.
“All Jawwal offices and stores have reopened,” a company executive said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Police in the coastal territory, which Hamas controls, shut Jawwal’s Gaza City office on Tuesday and posted notices saying the closure for “tax evasion” was on Jaber’s orders.
Jawwal director Ammar al-Eker said in a statement yesterday that his company “always met its fiscal and financial obligations”.
Some observers have said that Jawwal is probably paying taxes to the Palestinian Authority and not the Hamas authorities in Gaza.
Unnamed sources said that Jawwal agreed to cooperate absolutely with Hamas in "security and criminal cases in the Gaza Strip" and to grant Hamas access to phone records for those who may be affiliated with rival factions to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The sources also claim that Jawwal agreed to pay millions of dollars to Hamas under the pretext of buying medicines for the Hamas-run Ministry of Health.