The investigation, spearheaded by the Central Investigations Unit of the Amakim District, revealed that ringleader Hamze Massari (24) from the village of Qira near Haifa, would regularly purchase arms from a Tanzim operative in Qalqilya, and then sell them for either money or narcotics.
Beginning in April 2007, Massari would contact Chief Tanzim operative in Qalqilya, Sha’ar Hanini, and purchase illicit firearms which Massari would then sell.
On one occasion Massari ‘paid’ for the weapons in 15 KG (33 Pounds) bags of sulfur and potassium, which Shin Bet sources indicate were likely used by the Tanzim for terror attacks within Israel.
“In many cases the weapons exchanged in such arms deals can fall into hostile hands and be used for terror attacks, it all depends on who ultimately obtains these weapons,” said the head of the Central Investigations Unit of the Amakim District, Chief Superintendent Avi Algarisi.
Police officers arrested Massari, along with another 17-year old resident of Wadi Ara, who served as his accomplice during all of these arms deals, at the beginning of January. Massari did not reveal anything upon questioning, but his accomplice ultimately exposed the entire operation and implicated all others involved.
Roughly twenty suspects in total were implicated in this arms and drug dealing ring. The Haifa district court is expected to indict Massari, his accomplice, and four other residents of Kfar Qira and Jaser el Zarka involved in this affair Sunday.
“This is a major criminal ring, especially as Kfar Qira, which is known to be overrun with illegal firearms. We will continue to work hard to curb this phenomenon,” said Chief Superintendent Algarisi.