$340,000 bank heist by Hamas security forces

March 9, 2011

Or, to put it nicely, a “cash withdrawal by force.”

Hamas, you see, was tired of waiting on Palestinian agencies to transfer money to them.  That money is largely acquired through international aid, and it is not supposed to directly fund Hamas, though its eventual transfer to Gaza authorities guarantees would end up in Hamas’s pockets anyway.

But why run the risk of the money being transferred to the rightful recipient or be forced to wait on middlemen and the niceties of banking?  The whole anti-Israel jihad is based on theft, and this is just a slightly more graphic display than usual.  Hat tip to The Religion of Peace for linking to a related story and to Elder of Ziyon for highlighting this Ma’an article from Mar. 4:

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are at loggerheads again after the Palestinian Monetary Authority accused security forces in Gaza of robbing a bank.

The PMA announced Thursday that all banks in the Gaza Strip would close following a robbery at the Palestine Investment Bank in Gaza City.

Authority deputy Muhammad Manasreh told Ma’an that Gaza government officials stole $340,000 from the bank over two days.

On Tuesday, an official from the Hamas-led Ministry of Interior seized $90,000 from the bank by force after bank employees refused to honor a check due to insufficient funds in the account, Manasreh said.

The following day, the same official tried to cash a check for $250,000. Again, bank staff refused to honor the check due to insufficient funds. An argument erupted and cashiers called senior Hamas officials who failed to resolve the dispute, the PMA official added.

He said the bank was later raided by armed government security forces who seized $250,000.

The Palestine Investment Bank filed a complaint with security departments in Gaza, Manasreh said.

He added that he feared security officials would carry out further raids when the banks opened Sunday to pay employees’ salaries.

Meanwhile, the Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the money was taken to prevent the transfer of funds out of Gaza to companies based in the West Bank.

The ministry said it set up a board to monitor the activities of the Palestine Investment Bank in June 2009 over suspicions the bank was transferring money to Ramallah.

The raid was “a legal administrative decision” to stop the bank’s transfer of funds, the ministry said in a statement.

The banking sector in the Gaza Strip has experienced several periods of instability since Hamas seized power in the coastal enclave.

Israel’s siege of the territory has led to shortages of physical cash, and customers have previously reported bank closures due to robberies at gunpoint.

In June 2010, the Palestine Islamic Bank in Gaza City suspended operations in protest over three incidents of cash being “withdrawn by force” by Gaza government security forces.

At the time, Gaza police said the incident was the legal recovery of $16,000 dollars belonging to a local charity, following a court ruling to unfreeze their funds held in the bank.

One comment

  1. Woody (Walid) al-len ‘Take the money and run’ Palestinian style. LOL

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