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Israel Announces Dismantling Iranian Smuggling Network That Serves Hamas, Jihad

Israel Announces Dismantling Iranian Smuggling Network That Serves Hamas, Jihad

Friday, 8 November, 2019 - 10:30
Israeli forces stand in Jerusalem’s Old City, March 18, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

The Israeli Shin Bet announced that it has foiled more than 450 “major operations” over the past year in the West Bank.

On Thursday, the security body revealed the identity of people responsible for transferring money from Iran to organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with ties to Hamas, Hezbollah and the Quds Force.

Speaking to reporters at the 8th International Conference on Unmanned Vehicles (UVID 2019) in the airport city of Tel Aviv, the head of the Shin Bet, Nadav Argaman, told reporters that the security body possessed the best technologies in the world “that have enabled us to maintain our relative superiority against enemies who pose great challenges.”

He revealed that his forces managed last year to thwart more than 450 operations and 480 in 2018, and arrested hundreds of elements belonging to various Palestinian organizations who were involved in these plots.

Argaman’s speech was preceded by a statement by the Shin Bet security service, in which it announced the arrest of a large network of Palestinian money-changers accused of leaking money from Iran to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Shin Bet said in a statement that the network was uncovered after monitoring a large group of money exchange bureaus over several months, adding that Iran was sending money through Hezbollah in Lebanon, and other means, to beneficiaries in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.

According to the Shin Bet, part of the money was smuggled through the crossings into and out of the West Bank or through a bank transfer.

“This is about tens of millions of dollars… Hamas chooses different ways to deliver money to militants,” said an officer in the Israeli army central command.

Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza has been long suffering from a financial crisis that has led to significant cuts in salaries, military equipment and support.

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