A resident of Gaza confessed to using his Israeli entry permit to transfer $50,000 to individuals associated with Hamas in the West Bank city of Hebron, the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories disclosed on Wednesday.
The Israeli agency, known as COGAT, which disclosed the case on its Arabic-language Facebook page, said the Gazan, who was named as Bashir Mohammed Yunis Mustafa, admitted that he received the cash from border crossing officials from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip. He was chosen, COGAT stated, because he had a permit to enter Israel.
"This is one more case in a string of incidents that were exposed recently, in which Hamas is cynically exploiting entry permits issued by Israel for humanitarian and commercial purposes," COGAT said. The agency, which is responsible for implementing government policy in the West Bank and with regard to Gaza, from which Israel withdrew in 2005, said the confession came during the course of the month of August.
Earlier this summer, the Shin Bet security service reported that two Palestinians from the Gaza Strip had been arrested for involvement in smuggling money for Hamas into the West Bank. One of them, a resident of Beit Lahiya who had an entry permit for business purposes, was arrested in June at the Tarkumia checkpoint near Hebron. The Shin Bet said the man served as a courier who moved funds to finance terrorism by Hamas activists in the West Bank and had transferred tens of thousands of euros.
The other Palestinian was reportedly arrested while trying to smuggle 10,000 euros in his shoes through the Erez crossing from Gaza the same month, destined for Hamas terrorists in the West Bank. He used an entry permit issued for business reasons, the Shin Bet said.