Israel uncovers Hamas money laundering operation through Turkey and Gaza into Hebron

Masked gunmen from the Qassam brigade, the military wing of Hamas (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas has been laundering money to Hebron in the West Bank through Turkey and the Gaza Strip to fund terrorism.

Reports of the money laundering were cleared for publication Thursday by Israel’s Internal Security Agency (Shin Bet) that has been investigating the operation for months. Hamas has been recruiting agents in the West Bank and using them for laundering money through movement and sales of commercial goods to the West Bank, as well as passing messages to other operatives.

According to reports from the Shin Bet, Israel’s Police and the IDF, a senior Hamas official, Muhammed Mahed Bader, was laundering money to Hamas agents in Hebron under the guise of a business from Turkey. Bader used two Palestinian residents from Hebron to launder the money by selling commercial goods shipped to Hebron, then using the money to fund terrorism.

The operation had been ongoing since 2016 and brought over $200,000 in funding for terrorist activities in the West Bank.

The Shin Bet released that statement “The exposure of the infrastructure indicates the constant motivation of Hamas activists in Turkey and the Gaza Strip to increase terror from Hamas in the West Bank. Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip and abroad recruit emissaries from Judea and Samaria who travel abroad to transfer terrorist funds and messages to operatives in the field.

It explained that “Hamas frequently mobilizes relatives of the organization’s operatives in the field, or is assisted by merchants and businessmen who pay a significant personal and business price for this activity,” assuring that “The Shin Bet together with the IDF and the Israel Police will continue to act to expose and thwart terrorist activity directed by Hamas elements abroad and in the Gaza Strip.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, August 3, 2017, and reposted with permission.