Gaza: armed groups steal 66 million euros

Gaza: armed groups steal 66 million euros
Gaza: armed groups steal 66 million euros

Criminals steal 66 million euros from the Bank of Palestine

Published today at 11:25 a.m.

Armed Palestinian groups, including one claiming to belong to the Islamist group Hamas, stole a total of 66 million euros from the coffers of several bank branches in Gaza last month, reports Saturday. The world.

The French daily had access to a document sent by the Bank of Palestine “to certain international partners” which describes spectacular heists including the one that occurred in its main agency in Gaza City.

On April 16, employees “noticed that a hole had been drilled in the ceiling of the safe room,” explains the newspaper, specifying that “the criminals got their hands on cash dispenser cassettes, containing the equivalent of 2.8 million euros in Israeli shekels.

Le Monde continues: “The next morning, April 17, armed groups equipped with explosives again went to the building” to blow up the cement box poured the day before to protect the money and opened three safes. , “taking the equivalent of 29 million euros in different currencies”.

On April 18, it was the second agency, the most important in the city center, which was attacked by a “commando” of men claiming to be “from the highest authorities in Gaza”, a phrase which designates Hamas, recalls the newspaper, and left “with the equivalent of 33.6 million euros in Israeli shekels”.

Furthermore, the Israeli army for its part seized “a large sum of money belonging to the institution” in the enclave, according to information from Le Monde. The daily also cites Israeli media, which “reported in February that the amount confiscated amounted to several tens of millions of dollars and that the operation aimed to prevent Hamas from getting their hands on this sum.”

Le Monde also describes the difficulties, due to the war, for the Bank of Palestine to protect its liquidity and for Gazans to obtain cash. “Only two ATMs still operate, in Rafah and Deir Al-Balah (South), when they are supplied with electricity,” the newspaper underlines.

Finally, “according to testimonies from Gazans, corroborated by surveillance camera recordings, armed and masked men ransom customers in front of distributors, demanding a percentage of their withdrawals,” explains the newspaper.

AFP

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