The State Attorney’s Office filed indictments Monday, as well as remand requests, against three Israelis accused of aiding in Hamas’ quest to build terror tunnels into israel.
One of the defendants is a resident of a community in the Eshkol Regional Council; the other two defendants reside in the center of the country.
In addition to being charged with the sale and transfer of goods which have dual use, and are prohibited from entering Gaza, the three are also accused of aggravated fraud, money laundering, and various tax offenses.
The defendants have also been indicted on various security offenses such as aiding the enemy during war and the prohibition against financing terror.
The smuggling of the goods into Gaza was performed through the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which continued to work regularly even during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.
Through Palestinian merchants entering and exiting the crossing, and with the authority of Hamas, an extensive amount of raw materials and resources were brought into Gaza.
The materials were made by Israeli suppliers, foreign suppliers, or those from Palestinian Authority controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.
Stored in Israel, and then transferred to Gaza, the materials were under the management of Israeli officials, who should have known that materials transferred into Gaza require special permission, or who knew and appreciated they were designated for terrorist entities.
In this manner, materials purchased in Israel were smuggled into Gaza systematically and over time. These materials then made their way into the ranks of Hamas’ military for use in building terror tunnels and manufacturing weapons.
Southern District Police Commander, Major General Yoram Halevy, noted the seriousness of the affair, adding that there is a “widespread and alarming phenomenon of Israeli business owners seriously infringing Israel’s security in exchange for money.”
“The cooperation and integration of all of the security branches – Israel Police, Shin Bet, the IDF, the Defense Ministry, and the Tax Authority – is the right way to deal with this dangerous phenomenon,” he added.