Israel indicts Hamas agent who smuggled terror funds in shoes

Suspect works as a truck driver in Gaza, clearing sand from Hamas and Islamic Jihad tunnel digging sites.

July 10, 2016 14:58
2 minute read.
Erez crossing

Erez crossing. (photo credit: REUTERS)

One of two Hamas agents who were named last week by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for smuggling approximately 10,000 euros in his shoes was indicted in the Beersheba District Court on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Ministry said that the second Gazan’s case was being handled in the IDF West Bank courts, though she could not confirm whether he had been indicted yet and the IDF had not responded on the issue by press time.

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The security agency arrested the two Gazans in June while they were traveling to the West Bank with terrorism- financing cash hidden in their footwear.

They shared information that gave Israel valuable intelligence on the underground network of tunnels that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are digging in Gaza.

Jabalya resident Itallah Sarahan, 37, was arrested at the Erez Crossing and when he was questioned, security forces learned that he received a permit to enter Israel for trade purposes two weeks prior to his arrest.

He was indicted in the civilian courts in Beersheba, where many tunnel-related indictments are being handed.

The Southern District Attorney’s Office charged him with contact with a foreign agent, performing services for an illegal organization, illegal actions with terrorism-related assets and a range of other crimes.

It also requested permanent seizure of the 10,000 euros it had confiscated from Sarahan and to keep him in police custody until the end of his trial.

According to the indictment, a Hamas policeman on the Gazan side of the crossing, Mahmoud Saalam, asked Sarahan in May if he would smuggle cash to Hamas in the West Bank.

Sarahan “expressed his willingness to do so,” the Shin Bet said, leading Saalam to take him to a meeting with the Islamist regime’s operatives, two agents who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Schalit deal.

The two, referred to as Abu Adham and Abu Ahmad, paid him $200 to $300 for the mission and provided him with special shoes in which the money was hidden.

After being promised help if he got caught by Israeli authorities, he brought funds to the West Bank on June 5.

The suspect works as a truck driver in Gaza, clearing sand from Hamas and Islamic Jihad tunnel digging sites.

“Sarahan passed on much information about the tunnels he was exposed to, including which terrorist organization was responsible for digging which tunnels, their exact locations, and the status of the digging work,” the Shin Bet said.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this story.


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