Hamas smuggling tunnel to Sinai (file)
Hamas smuggling tunnel to Sinai (file)Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction has exposed that Hamas is running a human trafficking network, smuggling Gaza residents to Europe for $2,000 to $3,500 per person.

The charges come following reports that dozens of Palestinian Arabs drowned last week after leaving Gaza for Egypt, where they boarded an ill-fated ship bound for Europe that never reached its goal, reports Kol Yisrael (Israel Radio).

Apparently Hamas used its hundreds of smuggling tunnels into the Sinai Peninsula to funnel the would-be immigrants out of Gaza and into Egypt; while an Egyptian siege limited the usage of those smuggling tunnels, the blockade has been recently eased during the current ceasefire.

Palestinian Arab media sources published the names of roughly 90 Arab residents of Gaza who went missing after trying to immigrate by sea from Egypt to Europe.

In response to the accusations, Hamas said the phenomenon of immigration has always existed, and claimed it arrested several members of the human trafficking network in Gaza.

The revelation of increased mobility between Gaza and Europe comes at a time of heightened concerns that Arab terrorists from the Middle East may be finding their way to western Europe, where they could potentially conduct terror attacks.

Just recently the Israeli National Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a travel warning to western Europe for Israelis, over fears of terror attacks targeting Jewish and Israeli targets.

In particular, there is a fear that western jihadists, most notably the roughly 2,000 Islamic State (ISIS) foreign recruits, may return home to conduct attacks.