Shin Bet Crashes Cash-for-Hamas Ring

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli security agencies have broken a smuggling ring for bringing cash into the Gaza Strip to finance terrorist activities, the Shin Bet disclosed on Wednesday.

The cash smuggling operation was carried out through transferring debit cards through the Erez crossing, both by messengers and through outgoing mail from the Gaza Strip.

The suspects are said to have received the PIN numbers to withdraw the money from different ATMs in the area in several different ways, including by calling Hamas members in Gaza to having it written on the card itself.

Two Palestinians, Gaza resident Salim Fawzi Tutah and Ismail Ahmed Mohamed Hawamidiyya, were arrested in November and December 2016 for their roles in the terror funding operation.

Under interrogation, they divulged details concerning the methods that terror organizations use to transfer funds from the Gaza Strip to Yehudah and Shomron, including taking advantage of permits to enter Israel given to Gaza residents, the Shin Bet said.

“The state of Israel allows the entry of thousands of residents of the Gaza Strip into Israel each month, for humanitarian purposes. These terrorists are taking advantage of these permits for illegal purposes, including the transfer of funds for terrorism,” the statement read.