Israel’s Shin Bet Security agency announced Thursday it has uncovered an intricate money laundering scheme run by Hamas, in which some $200,000 was illegally transferred to the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group.
The scheme began in 2016 and saw Hamas transfer the funds from Turkey to its offices in Chevron to fund its terror operations, the Shin Bet stated.
A joint operation between the Shin Bet and the Israel Police arrested five Hamas members in the disputed territories in connection with the money laundering operation. Additional operatives were identified in Gaza and Turkey.
“The discovery of this operation shows the never-ending desire by Hamas operatives in Turkey and Gaza to increase terrorism by Hamas in the West Bank,” the Shin Bet said.
Muhammad Maher Bader, a senior Hamas member in Hebron, was arrested in June after the Shin Bet identified him as the head of the operation.
Bader recruited two other Chevron-based Hamas members, Muasseb Hashalmon and Taha Uthman, to assist with the operation. The men traveled to Turkey to collect money from Hamas operative Haron Nasser al-Din and then used the funds to purchase products that were sold in Chevron.
Profits from the sale of the goods were used to pay the salaries of high-level Hamas operatives in Chevron, and were also given to Hamas terrorists who had been released from Israeli prisons.
A military court is expected to indict the five Chevron-based Hamas members in the coming days.