Hamas spokesman tries to smuggle 900,000 euros into Gaza Strip
Palestinian border agents on Friday confiscated some 900,000 euros from Hamas spokesman in Gaza Strip Sami Abu Zuhri at Rafah border crossing with Egypt, a spokesman for European monitors at the crossing said.
According to Reuters, Hamas gunmen immediately arrived in the terminal, which is guarded by Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' men, demanding the release of Abu Zuhri and the money.
Julio De La Guardia, a spokesman for a European Union contingent that monitors the crossing, said travelers crossing through Rafah must declare all sums over $2,000 and explain its origin. "He (Abu Zuhri) did not declare that money, he tried to smuggle it," De La Guardia conveyed. According to one report, the cash was hidden in a special belt worn by Abu Zuhari, and while trying to cross the border, the belt fell, and the money was uncovered by the monitors.
A Palestinian security source said Abu Zuhri refused to leave the terminal without the money, which was confiscated by Palestinian customs agents.
Facing a U.S.-led funding and banking blockade, the Hamas-led cabinet has been unable to pay salaries to 165,000 government employees.