Israel exposes Hamas’ Turkey-Gaza-Hebron money trail

Israel has exposed another one of Hamas’ schemes to fund and promote terrorism in Judea and Samaria.

Israel’s security forces recently exposed a method used by Hamas operatives based in Turkey and Gaza to transfer funds to its terrorists in Hebron, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) announced Thursday.

The money channel began operating at the beginning of 2016, at the initiative of senior Hamas Hebron operative Muhammad Maher Bader, who recruited two couriers – Muasseb Hashalmon, a Hamas terrorist from Hebron who was sent to Turkey under the guise of business trips, and Taha Othman, a resident of Hebron.

Hashalmon was asked to transfer terror funds from Turkey to Hebron, which were meant to fund its headquarters in Hebron and Hamas members of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) legislative council. He was also asked to transfer money for Hamas terrorists who were released from prison.

Hashalmon and his brother Yusri, together with Omar Kemri, were simultaneously in contact with Majad Jaba, a Hamas terrorist from Gaza who was released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal. Jaba helped coordinate the funds transfers from from Turkey.

Muasseb Hashalmon and Othman met several times in Turkey with a Hamas official named Harun Nassir Aldene, who was likewise released in the Shalit deal and hails from Hebron.

The 2011 Shalit deal between Israel and Hamas brought the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held in Hamas captivity for five years, in exchange for 1,027 convicted terrorists. Many of the released terrorists returned to terrorism, and many were rearrested and re-incarcerated in Israel.

Harun provided the couriers with tens of thousands of dollars. They in turn bought merchandise in Turkey, imported the merchandise to Hebron through international delivery companies, and after selling it turned the funds over to Hamas terrorists in Hebron, after taking their cut.

Harun also directed the couriers to contact Hamas terrorists in Hebron and to offer them money for the terror group’s headquarters.

The investigators revealed that before its discovery, the terror-funding scheme was used to transfer around $200,000. Furthermore, Israel learned that Hamas had plans to build a cement factory at the cost of millions of dollars to use for money laundering.

The suspects’ interrogations were recently concluded, and Israel’s military prosecution is expected to indict them in the coming days.

The Shin Bet underscored that that the discovery of this infrastructure shows Hamas’ resolve in Gaza and Turkey to intensify its terrorism in Judea and Samaria.

“Hamas elements in Gaza and abroad recruit couriers who live in Judea and Samaria and travel abroad for the purpose of transferring terror funds and messages to operatives in the field,” the Shin Bet stated. “More than once, Hamas has recruited family members of Hamas operatives, or used the services of merchants or businessmen, who pay a personal and professional price for their actions.”

“The Shin Bet, together with the IDF and Israel’s police will continue operating in order to expose and thwart all terror activities that are directed by Hamas from abroad and the Gaza Strip,” the Shin Bet concluded.

By: World Israel News Staff