Shekel money bills.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police’s Northern District arrested an Arab Israeli dentist on suspicion of funneling large funds on behalf of Hamas, security forces said on Tuesday.
The arrest, carried out on April 6, saw the Northern District’s Central Unit and Shin Bet personnel arrest Malak Khatib, a resident of Kafr Kana in the Lower Galilee.
Khatib, 31, was charged on Tuesday at the Nazareth District Court in an indictment from the Northern District Attorney’s Office with contact with a foreign agent, forbidden activity involving using his property for terrorism purposes, multiple transport of Palestinians in Israel illegally, and tax fraud offenses.
The Shin Bet said intelligence information came into its possession according to which Khatib systematically transferred large sums from Hamas in Gaza to Hamas infrastructure in the West Bank under the instructions of Hamas operatives.
“Khatib was arrested while making his way to Judea and Samaria for the purpose of transferring funds to Hamas elements in the Ramallah area. He had NIS 170,000 in his possession,” it said.
The indictment stated that from May 2014 to February 2015, Khatib had made at least five illegal transfers of funds for Hamas under the instructions of a known Hamas Gaza financing operative named Abu Farouk.
Khatib himself received NIS 1,000 for each transfer that he made, alleged the indictment.
The defendant received a warning a few weeks prior to the arrest from Israeli security forces, saying that transferring terrorist funds is illegal and harmful to national security.
During questioning, Khatib confessed to transferring funds from Gaza to the West Bank, the Shin Bet said, adding that he confessed to being responsible for coordinating the money transfers in the Palestinian territories.
“He also confessed during questioning to driving Palestinians from the Gaza Strip on a daily basis, and for payment. He drove Palestinians who did not have entry permits into Israel,” the Shin Bet added.
The investigation “uncovers the unending efforts by Hamas to transfer large sums of money that are designed to promote the organization’s activities in Judea and Samaria,” the agency said.
The state asked to remand Khatib to police custody until the end of the trial.Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.
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