WikiLeaks: Israel Demanded Bribes for Goods Entering Gaza

Joint June 2006 cable dispatched by U.S. diplomats in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem cites Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Motorola and Dell as some of the companies subject to corruption at the Karni Crossing.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

A key Israeli cargo crossing for goods entering the Gaza Strip was rife with corruption, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday

The June 14, 2006, cable, published Thursday by Norway's Aftenposten daily, says companies told U.S. diplomats they were forced to pay hefty bribes to get goods into Gaza. It was unclear whether the practice still continues.

Trucks at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and GazaCredit: Eliyahu Ben Yigal

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The document quoted a local Coca-Cola distributor as saying he was asked to pay more than $3,000 to get a truckload of merchandise through the Karni Crossing. The executive claimed an unidentified high-level official at the crossing headed the corruption ring.

"Corruption extends to Karni management and involves logistics companies working as middlemen for military and civilian officials at the terminal," the document says.

The executive was identified as Joerg Hartmann, with Coca-Cola's distributor in the West Bank. The company did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Other companies, including Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, Philip Morris, Westinghouse, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Aramex and Dell, had complained of corruption at the crossing, according to the cable.

It was not clear which companies had actually paid the bribes, though the document said Caterpillar executives refused to pay.

The alleged corruption occurred a year before Hamas overran Gaza and Israel imposed an economic blockade. At that time, however, Israeli-Palestinian violence frequently closed the border crossings.

Hartmann told U.S. diplomats that the cost of the bribes would rise after extended closures of the border.

The document was identified as a joint cable by the U.S. ambassador to Israel in Tel Aviv and the American consul-general in Jerusalem, who works closely with the Palestinians. The embassy had no immediate comment.



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


מריאן ס' מריאן אומנות

The Artist Who Survived Auschwitz Thought Israel Was 'Worse Than the Concentration Camp'

הקלטות מעוז

Jewish Law Above All: Recordings Reveal Far-right MK's Plan to Turn Israel Into Theocracy

איתמר בן גביר

Why I’m Turning My Back on My Jewish Identity

Travelers looking at the Departures board at Ben Gurion Airport. The number of olim who later become yordim is unknown.

Down and Out: Why These New Immigrants Ended Up Leaving Israel

Beatrice Grannò and Simona Tabasco as Mia and Lucia in "The White Lotus."

The Reality Behind ‘The White Lotus’ Sex Work Fantasy

The Mossad hit team in Dubai. Exposed by dozens of security cameras

This ‘Dystopian’ Cyber Firm Could Have Saved Mossad Assassins From Exposure