February 28, 2020
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett signed an order Thursday to seize some $4 million in funds which Israel said were transferred from Iran to Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.
The funds were intended to develop Hamas’ infrastructure in Gaza, including the production of weapons as well as payments to the organization’s operatives, the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The order signed by Bennett targets al-Mutahidoun currency-exchange company owned by Zuheir Shamlakh and his family, it said.
The source of the money is “the Iranian government which works against the Israeli state,” the statement added.
Bennett’s order includes limiting the movement of Shamlakh and his family in some countries. It will also limit the company’s ability to conduct activities with international financial bodies.
The Defense Ministry statement said that Shamlakh took the place of Hamed al-Khudri, who was killed in a targeted strike by the Israeli army in May 2019.
Khudri was in charge of large-scale money transfers from Iran to factions in Gaza, the Israeli army said.
Last year, the US Treasury froze assets and bank accounts of businessmen from Gaza, accusing them of transferring funds from Iran to Hamas and Palestinian factions in the Strip and the West Bank.
The move was made in cooperation with Israel, which stated that this was a direct hit at Palestinian organizations namely Hamas and Islamic Jihad.