TEL AVIV – The indictment of a Hamas operative from Jerusalem accused of sending funds to the Gaza-based terror group through a foreign agent in Turkey has exposed many aspects of Hamas’ financial finagling, Israeli authorities said on Sunday.
Thirty-nine-year-old Seif al-Din Abd al-Nabi was charged late Friday by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office of providing assets for terror purposes and contacting a foreign agent, authorities announced Sunday.
Nabi was said to have received a total of $25,000 in cash from Zakaria Najib, a Hamas operative in Turkey, to be transferred to the families of other operatives.
Najib had served a lengthy prison sentence for his involvement in the 1994 abduction of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman.
He was subsequently freed and deported to Turkey as part of the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange deal.
Nabi is the owner of two clothing stores, one in east Jerusalem on the same street as the Ministry of Justice headquarters, and the second in Istanbul, where he encountered Najib.
The indictment stated that “the defendant knowingly had contact, on several occasions, with a foreign agent without a reasonable explanation in order to promote or pay for acts of terrorism as well as to compensate the families of terror operatives.”
According to the indictment, Najib contacted Nabi in January and asked him to transfer funds to Israel in order to distribute them to the families of Hamas prisoners and martyrs (operatives killed while carrying out terror attacks) as part of Hamas’ compensation package.
Nabi, who reportedly received the instructions via the messenger app Whatsapp, smuggled the funds into Israel on his person.
The two met on multiple occasions in Istanbul but Nabi was careful to use several cell phones to divert the police.
The indictment outlined some of the transfers, which included thousands of dollars in cash to Hamas operatives serving jail time and thousands more to elderly Palestinian women who were not identified but who are thought to be related to Hamas terrorists.