IDF forces arrested five money changers and confiscated money, documents and magnetic media. A total of NIS 3 million was confiscated.

 Terrorist finance network discovered


Israel Police and IDF confiscate terror funds from money changers (Photo: IDF Spokesman)

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

During a joint IDF, ISA, Civil Administration and Israeli Police operation overnight, the forces searched homes and offices belonging to 14 Palestinian money changers suspected of being involved in transferring money for the financing of terrorist activity in Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Hebron and Ramallah.

IDF forces arrested five money changers and confiscated money, documents and magnetic media. A total of three million NIS was confiscated and transferred to the legal authority of the Bank of Israel. In addition, three handguns and other gun parts were discovered in the possession of four of the money changers.

In recent years, terror organizations have raised millions of dollars and distributed the funds in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The money is transferred in various ways, mainly via money changers. During 2007 there was a marked increase in the sums of money transferred to Palestinian terror organizations.

These funds enable terrorist organizations to maintain and expand their infrastructure, to finance and train terror operatives and to purchase and manufacture weapons for the perpetration of terrorist attacks against Israel. These finances "fuel the wheels of terrorism," and motivate the terror organizations to develop various conduits to allow the transfer of the funds from abroad.

Regional money changers maintain direct relations with foreign money changers, located in Arab countries, who are connected to various global terrorist organizations. The transfer process occurs in the following manner: Money changers abroad deliver funds to money changers in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, who then deliver them to terror operatives. It is important to emphasize that there is no supervision of money changers by the Palestinians Authority, which means that the money changers can take part in terrorist activity without restrictions or fear of sanctions.

This operation is part of ongoing operations carried out in recent years by the IDF, the ISA, the Israel Police and other authorities, against the sources financing terror organizations, including:

In 2007 a Hamas financing operation was discovered in Jerusalem. This discovery revealed the Hamas fundraising routes from abroad, in addition to evidence of intensive Hamas activity in Jerusalem financed by the sources abroad. In the third quarter of 2007, a sum of approximately 12 million NIS was transferred to terror organizations. Most of the finances, approximately 8 million NIS, were transferred to the Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

December 2005 – The "Abu Akar" Company from Gaza was declared illegal by the Minister of Defense due to its assistance in funding terror organizations.

February 2004 – 37 million NIS belonging to terror organizations were confiscated from main bank branches in Ramallah. These terror organizations provide "rewards for terror" – financial support to the families of terrorists injured, killed or imprisoned as a result of terrorist activity. These incentives encourage Palestinians to conduct terror attacks. Due to the provision of these funds, terrorists need not worry about the future of their families after a terror attack.