Friday, January 24, 2020

(Jerusalem Post) The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) foiled a Hamas money-laundering network in the West Bank on Tuesday, the military has announced. The operation exposed a money transfer network from the Gaza Strip to Ramallah that operated in coordination between senior Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and their Hamas operatives in the West Bank.

“The network that we have now exposed operated under the guise of a civilian organization in an attempt to conceal the money’s origin and destination,” the military said in a statement.

The network was operated by a civilian traveling and passport-issuing agency named “Al-Haramain,” according to the statement. The agency is owned by the Hani brothers and Firas Blbiesi, along with a money exchanger named Mohammad Swesi, all of whom operated from the Gaza Strip. As part of the operation, IDF troops and Shin Bet officers arrested three suspected operatives of the Hamas-run cell in the West Bank: Ibrahim Mzfr-A Mazari and his brother Khaled from the village of Al-Nubani near Ariel, and Mohammad Abu Salim from Rantis.

“The large amounts of money transferred through this method were used for organizational terror activity and for funding the salaries of Hamas operatives,” the IDF said. “Following the money transfer from the Gaza Strip into the West Bank, IDF and Shin Bet have strengthened enforcement measures against civilian companies cooperating with terror organizations in the area and in the Gaza Strip.”

The IDF has confiscated half a million shekels in terrorist funding since the beginning of the year. It seized two million shekels in 2018.