Financing Terrorism

The attack on a senior lecturer of the Islamic University of Gaza during Operation Guardian of the Walls emphasized once again the connection between the university, which enjoys EU funding, and Hamas.

On the morning of May 12, 2021, the IDF attacked a location in the western part of Gaza City where senior Hamas figures had gathered, including Bassem Issa, brigade commander in Hamas' military-terrorist wing. Fourteen people were killed, all of them Hamas operatives, some of them holding high-ranking positions. One was Dr. Jamal al-Zebda, who held a PhD in mechanical engineering. He studied in the United States and was a senior lecturer in the IUG's engineering faculty. He also developed weapons for Hamas' military wing and headed the rocket development program under the direct supervision of Muhammad al-Deif, the commander of the military wing. Jamal al-Zebda tutored an entire generation of engineers at the IUG, recruited many of them to the Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades' weapons' development program, especially the aspects dealing with rockets and UAVs (al-Akhbar, May 22, 2021). His son, Usama al-Zebda (who held American citizenship), also an engineer, joined him in serving Hamas. He was killed in the same attack.
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The Palestinian Authority examines alternatives for continuing to make payments to prisoners and families of shaheeds after the option of the Bank of Independence is no longer on the agenda

On June 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) authorized the establishment of a government banking institution without connections to the global banking system. It was supposed to be called the Bank of Independence for Development and Investment, and the PA would use it to make payments to the prisoners, released prisoners and families of shaheeds. However, about half a year later, establishing the bank has hit a dead end and in effect been abandoned.
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Changes in Palestinian Monetary Authority senior personnel, apparently in view of the Palestinian Authority’s plans to circumvent the problem of making payments to terrorists and the families of shaheeds

On January 1, 2021 an order given by the IDF Commander of the Central Command went into effect banning the banks in Judea and Samaria from providing banking services to Palestinian prisoners, released prisoners and the families of shaheeds receiving payments from the Palestinian Authority (PA). Following the order, the Bank of Palestine, the largest Palestinian bank, began closing accounts of prisoners and shaheed families. (Filastin al-A'an, January 5, 2021).
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The Palestinian Authority is looking for creative ways to continue transferring payments to terrorist prisoners and to families of shaheeds, circumventing Israeli opposition

On November 17, 2020, Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA General Authority of Civil Affairs and member of Fatah's Central Committee, as well as a close associate of Mahmoud Abbas, announced the resumption of ties between the PA and Israel in their previous format. From the PA’s perspective, one of the key issues in the resumption of ties with Israel is the renewal of the transfer of the tax revenue funds that Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority.
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Hezbollah expands its banking services due to US pressure on the Lebanese banking system

Hezbollah maintains an extensive network of social foundations in the Shiite community in Lebanon. These foundations deal with healthcare, education, finance, welfare, and communications. They also support Hezbollah’s military infrastructure and serve as a means of disseminating Hezbollah’s ideology and strengthening its position among the Shiite community and in the internal Lebanese arena.
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The Palestinian Authority continues preparations for founding a bank which will enable it to transfer funds to terrorist prisoners and the families of shaheeds

On June 1, 2020, the Palestinian Authority (PA) government authorized the founding of a government bank to channel funds to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and the families of shaheeds. That came after the commercial banks in Judea and Samaria froze the accounts of the prisoners and shaheed families and refused to transfer the monthly payment from the PA to their accounts. The future bank will be called the Bank of Independence for Development and Investment.
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