Israeli defense officials say that Saltana’s arrest delivers a great blow to the existing terror infrastructure in Jenin.

Though arrested several months ago, Saltana's case was released for publication on Sunday. Saltana is accused of mis-using funds intended for the sick and poor. The Jenin Charity Funds Committee, headed by Saltana, was outlawed by IDF OC Central Command Yitzchak Eitan on June 30, 2002. Despite the efforts to shut it down, the committee continued to serve as a pipeline for the transfer of funds to terrorists' families.

The Jenin Charity Funds Committee collected some one million dollars annually in recent years. The funds were generated by various charity organizations, including International Human Appeal and Interpal based in England, CBSP and ABSPP based in France and Italy, and the Al-Aqsa organization with offices in Belgium, Germany, and Denmark. The money was distributed in monthly payments to families of suicide bombers, prisoners and Hamas terrorists as a means of rewarding them for their terrorist efforts.

Sbarro Restaurant Bombing, Aug, 2001
The Jenin Charity Funds Committee allegedly doled out monies to family members of the suicide bomber who carried out the August, 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem. Fifteen people, including 7 children, were murdered in that attack. The IDF confiscated documentation showing monthly payments to the family of Hamas explosives expert Amaj Fiad, who was killed in an IDF counter-terror operation. Families of Hamas terrorists killed in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield were also beneficiaries of the funds.

The IDF, Shin Bet (General Security Service) and the Police International Investigations Branch coordinated a joint anti-terror operation that led to the arrest of Saltana several months ago. Saltana began working for the Hamas Charity Funds Committee in Jenin in the late 80’s and has headed the office since 1996. He previously served a three-year prison sentence for terrorist involvement.

Israeli defense officials see Saltana’s arrest and ultimate trial as a step that will cause significant damage to Hamas influence in Jenin by reducing the financial incentive among potential suicide bombers.