Israeli Man Gets Seven-year Sentence for Smuggling Metal to Gaza

Michael Peretz had ignored warnings from the Defense Ministry to quit contact with an intermediary with ties to Hamas

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Michael Peretz in  court in 2015.
Michael Peretz in court in 2015.Credit: Eliyahu Herhkovits

An Israeli man who lives near the Gaza border was sentenced on Tuesday for seven years in prison for smuggling metals into the Hamas-controlled encalve. 

The Be’er Sheva Destrict Court ruled that the man, Michael Peretz from Moshav Mivtahim, had ignored warnings from the Defense Ministry to quit the activity, which was conducted via intermediaries, including a man with ties to Hamas.

He was also convicted of other security-related offenses in the case, fined 200,000 shekels ($60,000) and given an additional 18-month suspended sentence.

Peretz was convicted in May of contact with an enemy agent, activity connected to dealing with terrorism-related property, conspiracy to commit a crime and aggravated fraud for smuggling the supplies, most of which consisted of metal materials, between 2013 and 2015.

He was also convicted of tax offenses, money laundering and defrauding creditors, after failing to report millions of shekels of income. The judges acquitted him, however, of aiding the enemy during wartime.

“Even if we adopt a lenient approach to the defendant – that he did not intend to harm state security – he still committed an act involving harm to the country’s security,” the court said in sentencing.

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