Naftali Bennett signs order to seize funds transferred from Iran to Hamas
Israel’s defense minister signed an order Thursday to seize some $4 million in funds transferred from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
By ANNA AHRONHEIM
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett signed an order Thursday to seize some $4 million in funds transferred from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.The funds are “intended to develop terrorist infrastructure belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including the production of weapons as well as payments to the organization’s operatives,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.The order signed by Bennett targets the Elmhadon Gaza currency-exchange company owned by Zuhir Shmalach and his family.Shmalach took the place of Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri, who was killed in a targeted strike by the IDF in May. Khudri, who the IDF said was in charge of large-scale money transfers from Iran to terrorist groups in the Strip, was close to Hamas leader Yayha Sinwar. It was the first targeted assassination since 2014.The order against Shmalach will prevent him and his family from working internationally by limiting their movement to some countries. It will also limit the company’s ability to conduct financial activities with international financial bodies.“The Iranian octopus feeds terrorism all around us,” Bennett said. “Our counterterrorism activity is not only on the battlefield but also against their wallet. We are in an extensive economic campaign against terrorist activities around the world, and to make killing Israelis an unprofitable endeavor, we will pursue anyone who harms us.”The move is being added to a series of economic actions led by Bennett against Palestinian terrorism.In December, he authorized the seizure of hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of funds paid by the Palestinian Authority to eight jailed Israeli-Arab terrorists and their families. He also signed an executive order placing targeted economic restrictions on members of terrorist organizations in Israel and around the world. The order placed sanctions on Mohammad Jamil, a Hamas activist who was deported by Israel to Lebanon in 1992 and who has lived in the UK in recent years.The intelligence material that led to the signing of the most recent seizure order was drafted by the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate in collaboration with the Defense Ministry’s National Headquarters of Economic Counterterrorism.
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