Muhammad Qassem Sawalha managed to steer clear of Israel’s security services using a relative’s passport, according to a reportHe left for the UK in the 1990s, before later gaining British citizenship
A Hamas fugitive who ‘ran the group’s terrorist operations in the West Bank’ lives in a council property in a North London borough that is home to roughly a fifth of the UK’s Jewish community, a report has revealed.
Muhammad Qassem Sawalha, 62, who served on Hamas’s ruling body, managed to steer clear of Israel’s security services using a relative’s passport and left for the UK in the 1990s, before later gaining British citizenship, The Times reports.
In the UK, Sawalha continued to work for Hamas. He held secret discussions about ‘revitalising’ terrorist acts in Israel and helping to launder money to fund activities in the West Bank and Gaza, according to a US Department of Justice indictment in 2004.
In 2003, the father of four became a council tenant at a two-storey home with a garage and a garden in Colindale, in the north London borough of Barnet, where he lives with his 56-year-old wife Sawsan.
Some 56,616 Jews live in the borough of Barnet, the highest Jewish population of any in Britain, according to the Office for National Statistics.
The address is within a 10-minute drive of two synagogues.
In June 2021, Sawalha and his wife used the Right to Buy scheme to buy their home for £320,700.
The council granted them a £112,300 discount on the property’s market value, £500 less than the maximum discount available during the financial year. They do not have a mortgage on the property.
Under the Right to Buy scheme, council tenants are entitled to a