Gazan woman charged with smuggling explosives as cancer medicine

Ibtisam Musa accused of taking advantage of humanitarian permit to bring nitroglycerin into Israel on behalf of Hamas while accompanying sick sister

Palestinians wait at the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, July 13, 2014 (photo credit: Flash90)
Palestinians wait at the Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, July 13, 2014 (photo credit: Flash90)

Prosecutors on Thursday charged a Palestinian woman with attempting to smuggle explosives into Israel from Gaza by taking advantage of a humanitarian entry permit issued for her sister to seek cancer treatment.

The indictment filed Thursday at the Beersheba Magistrate’s Court alleges that Ibtisam Musa, 59, was enlisted by the Hamas terror group to smuggle tubes labeled for medication into the country, one of which was filled with nitroglycerin.

A Hamas operative told Musa that the explosives were meant for an Israeli-Arab woman known as “Umm Shadi Hosni” and were to be used in terror attacks in Israel. Prosecutors do not know the identities of either the Hamas operative or Umm Shadi Hosni, according to the Haaretz daily.

Prosecutors requested that Musa be held in custody for the duration of her trial.

Musa was arrested on April 19 along with her sister at the Erez Crossing to Israel.

The explosives were found during a security check and were disposed of by police sappers, the Shin Bet security agency said at the time. Both Musa and her sister were detained for questioning by the Shin Bet.

While Israel tightly controls its crossings in and out of Gaza as part of a security blockade, it allows tens of thousands of Palestinians to leave the Strip to seek medical treatment in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan each year.

In March, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan claimed that Hamas was using Gazan cancer victims as mules to smuggle money and gold into Israel to finance terror operations.

The claim came in response to a report which found a sharp drop in the number of cancer patients given permits to cross into Israel.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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