PA woman at a checkpoint
PA woman at a checkpointIsrael news photo: (file)

Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority media took a swipe at the Hamas terrorist organization last week, accusing the group of using its women and the sick to smuggle funds in and out of Gaza.

In an article published June 14 in the official PA newspaper, the Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Fatah announced:

"Hamas uses women and the sick to transfer money illegally. The [Palestinian Authority] security services arrested six Hamas members and confiscated more than a million Euros that was in their possession... Nablus Governor Jamal Muhaysin clarified that the security forces [of the Palestinian Authority] confiscated documents dealing with the transfer of 38,000 Jordanian Dinars from abroad that were used for acquisition of arms for Hamas. He said that 'Hamas is using women and the sick to transfer money illegally.'"

The text of the article was translated by the Middle Eastern watchdog agency Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

The agency pointed out in a statement to the media, "For years, Israel has blamed the suffering of civilians at roadblocks on terror infrastructures of both Hamas and Fatah, who have used civilians to transport weapons and money to finance terror."

Israel has long held a policy of searching both men and women at security checkpoints and roadblocks leading from PA areas into pre-1967 Israel.

Several months ago, a Bedouin man who worked with his family as a cigarette smuggler was caught helping Hamas bring weapons to Gaza. Hassan Ali Suarcha was charged in April in the Be'er Sheva District Court with weapons smuggling and providing material aide to a terrorist organization.

Police said Hassan Suarcha was one of several smugglers who began using his route to bring dozens of Kalashnikov rifles to Hamas.