Gazan Fisherman Sent to Prison after Smuggling Explosives to Hamas

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Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS on 7 April, 2019

By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 7 April, 2019

The Be’er Sheva District Court on Sunday sent two Gazan fishermen to prison for smuggling explosives weighing hundreds of kilograms from Egypt into Gaza for Hamas.

According to the indictment, the defendants Hamis Araishi and Mamdouh Bachar smuggled dozens of sacks full of explosives weighing hundreds of kilograms from Egypt to Hamas in Gaza, as well as bags of tobacco.

In addition, during the course of 2014, Araishi decided to carry out a suicide attack, and for this purpose, he acquired hand grenades and planned an attack. During Operation Protective Edge, he realized that the location at which he wanted to carry out the attack had already been exposed by IDF forces and therefore decided not to carry out the attack.

The defendants were convicted of weapons-related offenses.

Attorney Shira Harlap of the Southern District Office asked the court to impose significant prison sentences and high fines on the defendants, noting the severity of their actions and the way they compromised the state’s security, and especially at this time period in which Israel is engaged in a daily struggle against the terrorist organizations operating against IDF soldiers and Israel’s residents.

The Court sent Araishi to 13 years in prison and Bachar to eight years in prison. In addition, the defendants were given suspended sentences and a fine of 30,000 NIS each.

The court noted that “Gaza is fertile ground for terrorist activities against Israel and the various organizations are united in a consistent desire to improve their attack capabilities against Israel and do everything possible to equip themselves with weapons of destruction and sabotage.”

In another case, the District Court sent another Gazan fisherman, Muhammad Riala, to 23 months in prison for reporting on the Israeli Navy’s movements to the head of the Hamas naval police force while sailing for fishing purposes.

He also participated in three flotillas in the framework of the so-called “March of Return.” The defendant received a sum of NIS 100 and 25 liters of gasoline for each of the flotillas. He was convicted of providing service to a terrorist organization.

Attorney Mas’ad Mas’ad of the prosecution stated that the defendant committed the offenses in a serial and planned manner, and the information that he transmitted to Hamas was intended to give the terror group a military advantage and to build combat infrastructures on the naval front. He was also given a suspended sentence and a fine of NIS 2,000.

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