The Palestinian money changers were suspected of transferring funds from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah posts in Syria and Lebanon to terrorist organizations in the West Bank and Gaza.
The majority of the money come from Iran and was intended for financing terror attacks, purchasing weapons and explosives, training terrorist cells, assembling explosive belts and car bombs, and manufacturing Qassam rockets.
More than NIS 6 million (USD 1.4 million) were seized during the simultaneous operation in Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Ramallah. According to Palestinian reports, five money changing posts were destroyed. In Nablus, the operation focused on one of the banks in the city.
Security establishment sources claim the funds were transferred from Syria and Lebanon to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad by money changers, and were intended to serve terror organizations in executing terror attacks.
Three Palestinians were arrested during the operation after being found in possession of three hand guns and one shot gun. The same sources also said that the Palestinian Authority doesn’t supervise entering foreign funds that are used for terrorist activities.
In the last two weeks, Shin Bet arrested two other money changers:
- Aiyman Sayid from Nablus, who admitted transferring tens of thousands of dollars to wanted seniors of al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, including Fadi Kafisha who was killed in recent attempts for his arrest. Sayid said the funds were sent from Hizbullah in Lebanon.
- Aiyman Shachtur from Bethlehem, who admitted transferring tens of thousands of dinars to Hamas activists and outlawed Hamas associations.
IDF attacks Dahaniya structure
During the raid, computers, documents, telephones, and receipts were confiscated. Explosives went off and shots were fired at operating forces in Nablus. No one was hurt. The forces returned fire. A Palestinian hurling an explosive device was injured.
A fire broke out in another incident in Nablus. A Palestinian fire truck that arrived at the scene was hit by shots fired by Palestinians aiming at the place.
According to the Palestinians, several armed vehicles and jeeps participated in the operation, surrounding the structures. They claimed that soldiers broke into money changers’ shops and expropriated at least NIS 1 million (USD 230,108).
One of the money changers said that the IDF surrounded his home, brought him to his money shop and expropriated all of the funds in the shop. Palestinians reported at least five money changer shops and one bank were raided by the IDF, with hundreds of thousands of shekels and tens of thousands of Jordanian dinars seized.
According to Palestinian reports, five money changing posts were destroyed. In Nablus, the operation focused on one of the banks in the city.
During another operation in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, the IDF attacked a structure in the Dahaniya area. According to defense sources, the structure was used in the digging of a tunnel for smuggling weapons. Residents were told to leave before the attack.
Ali Waked contributed to this article