Palestinian businessman charged with smuggling diving equipment to Hamas

Israel remains vigilant in enforcing security as Hamas continuously tries to find contacts who will assist in building up its terror capabilities and infrastructure.

A Palestinian businessman from Gaza was indicted in an Israeli court on Sunday and was charged with assisting Hamas’ military buildup.

According to the indictment issued by the Beersheba District Court, he smuggled diving equipment into the Gaza Strip, including hundreds of swim fins, dozens of snorkels and diving suits, which were meant for the use of Hamas’ naval commando unit.

He also sold Hamas “large quantities” of sports clothing and equipment.

The unnamed merchant was charged with seven counts of offenses against state security, including maintaining contact with a foreign agent and providing services to an illegal organization.

The Chinese Xinhua news agency named the defendant as Abed Sakala, a 41-year-old clothing merchant.

Israel’s combined security agencies have been successful in thwarting more than 500 attempts to smuggle illicit materials from Israel into the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2015.

In July, Israeli officials discovered a dismantled 4X4 pickup truck as it was being smuggled into the Gaza Strip, apparently on its way to the Hamas terror organization.

A day before that, Israeli authorities uncovered and seized “a significant” amount of goods which can be used for terrorism on their way to Gaza, including security cameras, 14 small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), binoculars and laser pointers for weapons.

Since Israel decimated Hamas’ terror infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has been working relentlessly to rehabilitate its networks and replenish its weapons stockpiles.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News