The Shin Bet recently caught two Gazans carrying money for Hamas hidden in their shoes as they crossed into the coastal territory from Israel using state-issued travel permits.
Fayez Matzbah Muhammad Atar, 65, a resident of Beit Lahiye in the Gaza Strip, was arrested in June at the Tarkumiye crossing, in a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police-IDF operation, after it was learned that he had smuggled cash amounting to tens of thousands of Euros into the Hamas-run enclave for terrorist activities.
The investigation also yielded information about the openings of tunnels that were located, for the most part, under civilian structures such as residences and mosques, as well as about launching points for rockets that were located close to civilian structures, thereby endangering the civilian population of Gaza.&
Itallah Ali Abd Al-Karim Sirhan, 37, from Jebalya, who holds a permit to enter Israel for commercial purposes, was also arrested in June, at Erez crossing. Security forces found 10,000 Euros in his shoes, intended for Hamas terrorists in Yehuda and Shomron.&
Investigators said that Sirhan, who received his permit only two weeks before his arrest, had been contacted on the day of his first entry in Israel by a Hamas policeman, who worked on the Gaza side of the crossing, and who induced him into joining the smuggling venture.&
In a statement, the Shin Bet stressed “the cynical way in which Hamas exploits the willingness of the state of Israel to ease conditions for the civilian population in the Gaza Strip by issuing commercial permits to enter Israel and uses permit holders to advance its terrorist goals, thus deliberately harming the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”