Suspicious activity uncovered in Gaza led to the disclosure of sums of money from seemingly legitimate deals – which reached the military wing of Hamas. In order to expose the financial network, about 230 tons of sugar were confiscated by a money exchange known as the organization’s supporter.
On Thursday, The IDF Intelligence Division unveiled a route for the transfer of funds to Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip and to terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria through the trade in tons of sugar.
In a joint operation by the Military Intelligence Division, the National Economic Counterterrorism Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense and the National Center for Cargo Diagnosis in the Tax Authority, suspicious activity of food trade to the Gaza Strip was recently discovered. During the investigation, it became clear that traders in the Gaza Strip who are engaged in importing through the Kerem Shalom crossing, turned to a central exchange in Gaza, which is known as a senior aide to Hamas’ military wing. The latter also serves as the owner of companies that were previously declared terrorist organizations after their aid activities to Hamas were exposed.
As part of the fraudulent process of the Israeli law enforcement agencies, the exchanger and companies he owns financed the purchase of goods, among other things, sugar and other basic food products intended for sale to Gaza residents, and the proceeds from the operation were intended to be transferred at the end of the process to Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip.
After the information was examined by legal sources, it was presented to Defense Minister Beni Gantz, who signed an administrative seizure order to confiscate about 230 tons of sugar that were on their way to the Gaza Strip. The goods were supposed to enter “innocently” through the Kerem Shalom crossing, after conducting a security check that would not reveal anything about the Hamas fraud process.
Security sources said last night that this activity exposed and damaged Hamas’ extensive infrastructure for financing terrorism through the import of goods into the Gaza Strip. According to the suspicion, the terrorist organization Hamas operates an infrastructure of money changers, merchants and companies, which import goods into the Gaza Strip, in order to bring millions of dollars into the Strip, and from there – to the organization’s various military units.
Sources in the defense establishment said that this was not the first operation carried out, and that with the help of intelligence and operational operations, Israel had succeeded in harming a number of financing routes and confiscating goods in an administrative seizure order. Gantz said, “We will continue to fight terrorism and dry up its budgetary resources. Just as we will not allow money to be transferred directly to Hamas, we will do everything we can to prevent the indirect axes for financing its intensification.
“We will continue to fight terrorism, and dry up its budgetary sources,” Defense Minister Benny Ganz said. “Just as we will not allow money to be transferred directly to Hamas, we will also do everything we can to prevent the indirect axes for financing its intensification. Hamas’ pocket is another way of ensuring that what was is not what will be.”
By Amir Bohbot (Hebrew), July 1, 2021, published on Walla