The District Court of Jerusalem. .
(photo credit: JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY)
Cash was allegedly transferred to Hamas families through a Jerusalem man who owns clothing stores in Israel and Turkey.
The indictment of a Hamas operative in the Jerusalem District Court who was providing funds to the families of inmates and “martyrs” (slain terrorists) was announced on Sunday, mapping out aspects of the terrorist group’s financial tactics.
Seif al-Din Abd al-Nabi, a 39-year-old resident of Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood, was charged late on Friday by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office with illegal use of assets for terrorist purposes and contacting a foreign agent, but the public announcement came two days later.
He allegedly received a total of $25,000 in cash from a Hamas operative in Turkey to transfer to the families of other operatives. According to the indictment, the money was transferred to Nabi by Zakaria Najib, a Hamas operative in Turkey.
Nabi had served a lengthy prison sentence for involvement in the October 1994 abduction of Sgt. Nachshon Waxman of the Golani Brigade.
Waxman and another soldier were killed along with three terrorists during a rescue operation.
Nabi was subsequently released and deported as part of the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal.
The indictment states that Nabi owns two women’s clothing stores, one in east Jerusalem on Salah a-Din Street, the same street where the Justice Ministry’s headquarters is located, and the second in Istanbul, where he visited frequently and where he crossed paths with Najib.
The indictment stated that “the defendant knowingly had contact, on several occasions, with a foreign agent without a reasonable explanation in order to promote or pay for acts of terrorism as well as to compensate the families of terrorist operatives.”
Najib was in contact with Nabi in January and asked him to have the money transferred to Israel for future distribution. The instructions were reportedly received via WhatsApp. Nabi smuggled the funds into Israel on his body and concealed under his clothing.
He tried to throw law enforcement off his trail by using multiple cellphones to carry out his illegal communications and made fund transfers in pre-coordinated public spots.
The indictment detailed Zakaria’s and Nabi’s transferring of the funds to the Hamas families. In May, Nabi used a third party to transfer $2,000 in cash to Maha Gaza’a, whose husband and son are both imprisoned Hamas agents.
On July 29, he transferred $1,000 to the son of Hamas operative Mahmoud Adris who was convicted in a 1998 murder and deported to the Gaza Strip in 2002. In other cases, Nabi transferred a few thousand dollars to elderly women with familial connections to Hamas whose identities have not been uncovered.
On July 14, the police caught Suad Abu-Ramuz after Nabi transferred to her $1,000 relating to her familial Hamas connections.
Since the police did not arrest Nabi for several additional weeks, one can assume they either decided to follow him to catch others he was involved with, or that it took investigators some time to clarify that he was the one who had given her the money.