armed groups stole 66 million from the Bank of Palestine

armed groups stole 66 million from the Bank of Palestine
armed groups stole 66 million from the Bank of Palestine

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 at its main agency in Gaza City.

On April 16, employees “found that a hole had been drilled in the ceiling of the vault”, explains the newspaper, specifying that “The criminals got their hands on ATM cassettes, containing the equivalent of 2.8 million euros in Israeli shekels.”

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

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

Furthermore, the Israeli army, for its part, seized in the enclave “a large sum of money belonging to the institution”, 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 was aimed at preventing 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,” underlines the newspaper.

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.

With AFP

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