A Gaza-based equipment dealer was indicted Sunday on charges of smuggling scuba diving equipment into the region and selling it to the Hamas terrorist organization.
The indictment came after a joint investigation by Israel Police and the Israel Security Agency, known as the Shin Bet.
Israel’s Southern District prosecutor filed an indictment in a Be’er Sheva court against 41-year-old Abd al-Rahman Sakallah.
The Gaza dealer faces seven charges that include security offenses, provision of service to an illicit organization, contact with a foreign agent, fraud under aggravated circumstances and carrying out illegal property transactions. He was also accused of selling sporting equipment and clothing to the terror organization.
Inspection agents always scrutinize goods as they enter the ports and the land crossings prior to delivery into Gaza due to the frequency of attempts to smuggle contraband to terrorist organizations. In this case, scuba diving equipment is used by Hamas terror commandos to retrieve smuggled weapons and other ordnance via illicit maritime deliveries, and infiltrate into Israel and carry out terror attacks.
Israeli Navy vessels allegedly fired at Gaza fishermen caught sailing outside the permitted zone off the coast of the al-Soudaniya area of central to southern Gaza. The incidents took place Saturday night and Sunday during the day, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
But an IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
Gazans who appear to be “fishing” are sometimes seeking things other than living creatures for food beneath the waves, and Israeli sailors are forced to be on constant alert as they patrol the coastline to defend against arms smugglers and terrorists.Hana Levi Julian