Israel uncovers West Bank-Gaza terror cash pipeline
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Israel uncovers West Bank-Gaza terror cash pipeline

Smuggling carried out through transfer of debit cards between the Palestinian areas for use by terror groups

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

Palestinian supporters of Hamas at a rally marking the terrorist organization's 25th anniversary in the West Bank city of Ramallah (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinian supporters of Hamas at a rally marking the terrorist organization's 25th anniversary in the West Bank city of Ramallah (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

The Shin Bet security service said Wednesday that it had uncovered a Hamas and Islamic Jihad operation to transfer cash from the Gaza Strip to operatives in the West Bank.

The Gaza-based terror organizations would send debit cards loaded with funds, either via the mail or smuggled by couriers through the Erez Crossing from Gaza into Israel.

West Bank members then withdrew the money from ATMs for use to fund terror attacks, the Shin Bet said.

Two suspects from Gaza and the West Bank were detained by Israeli security forces for questioning during November and December, according to a Shin Bet statement.

Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on September 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Palestinians arrive to cross into Gaza at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on September 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Gaza City resident Salim Tutah, 26, received a permit to enter Israel to work as a tractor driver for a Palestinian contractor doing projects for the american government aid agency USAID in the West Bank.

Tutah confessed during interrogation to handing over a debit card loaded with thousands of shekels designated for the Islamic Jihad group. He had received the card from Hamas operatives on the Palestinian side of the Erez Crossing.

Ismail Huamda, 26, a Hamas member from the village of al-Samu near Hebron, received another debit card through a courier and was ordered to withdraw funds, the agency said.

The Shin Bet said this was another example of the terror group “cynically exploiting” the fact that Israel allows thousands of Gaza residents to enter Israel for humanitarian needs.

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