Israel, less than a week after its missile war, plans to renew massive cash transfers to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
The Israel Law Center said the government has approved the imminent transfer of $13.5 million to the Gaza Strip. The center warned that a significant portion of the money would end up with the Hamas regime and could result in a lawsuit against Israel.
“As you well know, this cash serves Hamas, including the payment of rockets and other weapons as well as financing the supply chain of rockets and other weapons,” the center said in a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. “This includes Bedouin smugglers in Egypt and Egyptian security officers who allow the transfer of arms under their watchful eyes.”
Under U.S. pressure, Israel has been transferring at least $13 million per month to the Gaza Strip for what officials said was meant to pay former employees of the Palestinian Authority. The Netanyahu government said the money was also meant to pay employees of the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency.
In the letter, center director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner asserted that the Israeli cash enabled Hamas to pay smugglers abroad for missile and rocket shipments to the Gaza Strip. Ms. Darshan-Leitner, who has represented victims of Hamas and Hizbullah attacks in massive lawsuits in the United States, said Israel was financing “terror for all intents and purposes.”
“Had a similar act been conducted by Egypt, it would be likely that your government would have protested and demanded that this stop immediately,” Ms. Darshan-Leitner told Netanyahu. “Is there anything more absurd than that the Israeli government headed by you allows the financing of terror aimed against Israeli citizens?”
The center said the cash transfer to Hamas marked a violation of the Israeli penal code that called for a seven-year sentence. But the letter suggested that Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz approved the cash delivery and could be subject to a lawsuit in the United States, which deems Hamas a terrorist organization.
“It should be stressed that even if this was approved by the finance minister for the cash transfer to the Gaza Strip, this act could expose those involved to criminal proceedings and civil action by victims of terror, including in U.S. courts,” the letter said.
[Comment from David Bedein;]
Hamas takeover of the UNRWA in Gaza documented at: