The Israeli Defense Forces, Shin Bet, and police have raided banks in Ramallah and El-Bireh to seize vast quantities of money intended to fund Palestinian terror. Officials pored over hundreds of bank accounts and seized money from Europe, the United StateS, Iran, Syria, and Jordan intended to fund Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas.
PLO officials expressed disapproval. “This is provocation; they are asking for Palestinian retaliation,” said Tayeb Abdel Rahim, an aide to Yasser Arafat. So did United States State Department spokesman Richard Boucher:
“We have in the past and continue to urge the Israeli government to work closely with the Palestinian financial authorities to address the issues of transparency and of making sure that money doesn’t reach any terrorist groups through these banks.”
“The actions, some of these actions that were taken, risk destabilizing the Palestinian banking system. And so we’d prefer to see Israeli coordination with Palestinian financial authorities in order to stem the flow of funds to terrorist groups.”
The fascinating Jerusalem Post story is “IDF seizes tens of millions of Shekels in Ramallah bank raid.” The Post’s sidebar analysis is “Tale of a money trail.”