Israel arrests Hamas terror funds courier

Israeli forces on Thursday arrested Bashir Mahmoud Younis Mustafa, a resident of the Gaza Strip and a holder of an Israel transit permit on charges he served as a courier for Hamas and transferred funds for them to terror elements.

The Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the IDF unit responsible for implementing government policy in Judea and Samaria and vis-à-vis the Gaza Strip, stated Friday that after a month-long investigation, it was revealed that Bashir Mahmoud Younis Mustafa transferred $50,000 from the Hamas terror organization in Gaza to organizations with ties to Hamas in Hebron.

He was contacted by Hamas because of his permit that enables him to work in Israel and go in and out of the Gaza Strip freely. “Because of this, he was able to transfer money between the areas with ease,” COGAT stated.

Bashir was released shortly after his questioning due to his poor health condition.

“This is just another occurrence in a recent string of events of Hamas’ attempts to exploit permits meant for humanitarian and business purposes. Instead, Hamas is attempting to use these cases to propagate terror,” the IDF stated.

“These instances, which are occurring frequently, are hurting the civilian policy designed to assist the civilians of the Gaza Strip,” the statement said. “Hamas is the one who continues to sabotage the residents, the Palestinian economy, and our willingness to assist these merchants.”

Last month, The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) publicized that it arrested a humanitarian aid worker from the Gaza Strip on charges he was exploiting his position at the UNDP to provide assistance to Hamas.

Shortly before that, Israel announced it had arrested Mohammed El-Halabi, from Jabalya in the Gaza Strip. El-Halabi was the director of the Gaza branch of the international humanitarian aid organization World Vision. He was detained on suspicion of serious security offenses carried out for Hamas and for exploiting his visits to Israel for that purpose.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News