Israel’s Defense Minister Naftali Bennett signed an order Thursday to seize some $4 million in funds transferred from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The funds, the ministry said in a statement, are “intended to develop terror infrastructure belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, including the production of weapons as well as payments to the organization’s operatives.”
The order signed by Bennett targets the Elmhadon Gaza money exchange company owned by Zuhir Shmalach and his family.
Shmalach took the place of Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri who was killed in a targeted strike by the Israeli military in May. Khudri, who the IDF said was in charge of large-scale money transfers from Iran to terror groups in the Strip, was close to Hamas leader Yayha Sinwar. It was the first targeted strike since 2014.
The order against Shmalach will prevent him and his family from working internationally by limiting their movement to some countries and will also limit the company’s ability to conduct financial activities with international financial bodies.
“The Iranian octopus feeds terrorism all around us. Our counter-terrorism activity is not only on the battlefield but also against their wallet. We are in an extensive economic campaign against terror activities around the world and we will pursue anyone who harms us, in order to make killing Israelis an unprofitable business,” Bennett said.
The move is being added to a series of economic actions led by Bennett against Palestinian terrorism.
In December he authorized the seizure of hundreds of thousands of shekels’ worth of funds paid to eight jailed Israeli-Arab terrorists and their families by the PA. He also signed an executive order placing targeted economic restrictions on members of terror organizations in Israel and around the world. The order placed sanctions on Mohammad Jamil, a Hamas activist who was deported by Israel to Lebanon in 1992 and who has lived in Britain in recent years.
The intelligence material that led to the signing of the most recent seizure order was drafted by the IDF’s Intelligence Division in collaboration with the National Headquarters on Terrorist Economic Counter-Terrorism in the Ministry of Defense.
Source » jpost