Terror group brought some $200,000 into the West Bank to pay salaries of its command, operatives, Shin Bet says
By Judah Ari Gross | The Times of Israel
Israel’s Shin Bet security service has uncovered a complex Hamas money laundering operation that brought nearly three quarters of a million shekels into the terrorist group’s coffers, the agency announced Thursday.
In light of Israeli sanctions on the group, Hamas cannot freely move money in and out of the country. Through this plot, which began in early 2016, the group managed to transfer approximately $200,000 (NIS 720,000) into its Hebron offices from Turkey, with help from Gaza, in order to fund terrorist activities, the Shin Bet said.
The security service, working alongside the Israel Police, arrested five Hamas members in the West Bank in connection with the operation, and also identified one operative in Gaza and another in Turkey.
“The discovery of this operation shows the never-ending desire by Hamas operatives in Turkey and Gaza to increase terrorism by Hamas in the West Bank,” the Shin Bet said.
The security service added that this type of money laundering by Hamas takes a toll on the otherwise legitimate Palestinian businessmen involved, who end up “paying a significant personal and financial price for these actions.”
The head of the operation was identified by the security service as Muhammad Maher Bader, a senior member of Hamas in Hebron and a member of the Palestinian parliament.
Bader, who was arrested in June, enlisted the help of two couriers, Muasseb Hashalmon and Taha Uthman, both of them residents of Hebron, the Shin Bet said.