Friday, June 27, 2008
PM's Office: Money-Transfers to Hamas Is Policy
The Prime Minister's office has admitted, in a letter to the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, that it is enabling the transfer of huge amounts of shekels into Hamas-run Gaza.
Asked about this issue by Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of human rights organization Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, the PM's office replied, "The transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip takes place with the knowledge of the Israeli government, for diplomatic reasons."
Notably, the letter states that the money is transferred to the PA, when in actuality, Hamas - not the PA - runs Gaza. The PM's Bureau letter continues, "The money transfer takes place after consultations on the matter with the relevant elements, in which are taken into consideration various possibilities and ramifications of the stoppage of the transfers. At this stage, in light of the conclusion that was reached that it was an Israeli interest that the money transfers continue, it was decided to continue to transfer certain sums to Gaza."
Law Centers Demands Stop to Money Transfers
Shurat HaDin, an organization representing hundreds of terror victims in ongoing global battles against terror funding, had sent letters to the Prime Minister, the Bank of Israel and the Israel Postal Bank, demanding an immediate cessation to the transfer of funds to Hamas.
Israel Launders Hamas Money
A Law Center representative explained that the funds are transferred in two ways: "For one thing, trucks from Arab banks in Judea and Samaria bring new banknotes and shekels issued by the Bank of Israel to the Gaza crossings, where the money is exchanged for dollars and euros smuggled into Hamas under the Philadelphi Corridor from Iran and elsewhere. This means that Israel is essentially laundering Hamas's smuggled money."
Replacing Old With New
"In addition, the Bank of Israel sends Brinks trucks to the Gaza crossings to replace old, unusable shekel banknotes. It replaces the old ones with shiny new ones - and last November, just days after such an exchange took place, the whole world saw pictures of Hamas terrorists holding their Kalachnikov rifles kissing Israeli banknotes with pictures of Yitzchak Ben-Tzvi and Shmuel Yosef Agnon that they had just received as their salaries; they had not been paid in months, and the Hamas government appeared to be on the verge of collapse, when Israel stepped in with this delivery."
"Without these criminal acts," the Law Center writes, "Hamas' financial hold on the Strip would collapse, and thus these measures are directly responsible for shoring up the Hamas control over Gaza and its continued terrorist activity launched from the region."
Shurat HaDin director Darshan-Leitner had sharp words for the government of Israel, saying it "cannot fight against the Hamas terrorist organization with one hand, and continue to secretly finance it with the other. Hypocritically, the Prime Minister demands that governments around the world isolate and and embargo the Hamas terrorists in Gaza, and stop transferring funds to them, while at the same time he authorizes the transfer of Israeli currency into the hands of the enemy. "
"There can be no doubt," Darshan-Leitner said, "that the Israeli government's policy of transferring shekels is assisting the Hamas terrorists with their missile attacks on the Negev communities. If the Prime Minister does not immediately halt the currency transfers to Gaza, Shurat HaDin will take all legal means available against the government to bring this terror financing to a close."