Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


3 Israelis jailed for smuggling goods to Gaza

02 March 2015, 15:23

Jerusalem - Three Israelis were on Monday charged with smuggling goods into the Gaza Strip knowing they would be used by Hamas to bolster its military infrastructure, officials said.

Micha Peretz, Yehoram Alon and another man whose name has not been released were indicted at Beersheba District Court for trade worth millions of dollars with a Palestinian merchant in Gaza, while fully aware he was transferring the materials to Hamas.

The alleged smuggling took place over the past two years but intensified prior to and after last summer, when Israel fought a deadly 50-day war with Hamas militants in Gaza, court documents showed.

According to a statement from Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency, the materials included iron plates, cement and steel cables for building tunnels; pipes for making rockets and mortars, and electronic materials for military communications.

Israel keeps a tight watch on merchandise transferred into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing to prevent Hamas from getting hold of so-called dual-use materials that could be used for building fortifications or attacking the Jewish state.

The entry of such goods have been severely restricted under an eight-year Israeli blockade, although they are allowed in for certain approved international projects.

A Shin Bet spokesman told AFP the smuggling had intensified last summer as Egypt stepped up efforts to demolish cross-border tunnels into Gaza, as well as after the seven-week war which ended in late August, leaving much of the tiny enclave in ruins.

He said some of the goods, which were on Israel's approved list, were transferred there openly, with the Gaza-based merchants transferring them to Hamas. Other materials which were on the banned list were concealed inside legitimate cargos.

Shin Bet also confirmed it had arrested six Gaza merchants in connection with the smuggling racket over the past three months, all of whom were charged at an Israeli court.

According to Peretz's charge sheet, their main contact was Osama Zoarob.

Although Israeli officials had warned the three in May 2014 against doing business with Zoarob over his ties with Hamas, the two sides simply set up a new company run by his brother Naji, who ultimately continued to pass on the materials.

Peretz, who lives in a small community near the Gaza border which came under heavy fire during the summer war, was arrested last month.

He was charged on Monday with a series of offences, including contact with a foreign element, aiding an enemy in time of war and funding terror.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...