(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) announced on Wednesday the arrest of a Gazan woman suspected of transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars from Gaza to the West Bank for Hamas activities.
Sana’a Hafi, 42, from the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, allegedly transferred the money to her brother Hassin Abu Kayuk, who is serving time in an Israeli prison. He allegedly sent some of the money on to Hamas members in Judea and Samaria. Hafi also allegedly used currency exchange businesses to get the funds to Hamas operatives in the West Bank, security sources said.
“Every one along the chain took a commission, and passed the funds on,” one source told The Jerusalem Post. Hafi was arrested at the Erez crossing on May 26 while trying to enter Israel from the northern Strip.
“Hafi said during questioning that a large part of the money she transferred to her brother was used, among other purposes, to purchase a luxury apartment and a vehicle. She added that she got the funds from Hamas’s Al-Nor organization, which transfers money to prisoners and to the families of Hamas ‘martyrs’ and wounded members,” the Shin Bet said.
Hafi allegedly used currency exchange businesses to circumvent bans on the movement of Hamas money using electronic bank transfers.
Southern District prosecutors charged her with providing services to an illegal organization, unlawful use of terrorist assets, and contact with a foreign agent.
Last month, customs officers and the Shin Bet announced the interception of 40 diving suits on their way to the Gaza Strip.
Security sources believe the package was part of Hamas’s efforts to build up its offensive military capabilities, in particular its naval strike force, which includes commando units tasked with attacking Israeli targets.