Hamas security forces took $16,000 from a bank in the Gaza Strip on Sunday that had frozen the funds as part of a Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) anti-money laundering campaign, Reuters has reported. A senior official at the Palestine Islamic Bank told the internationalnews agency that Hamas police seized the cash from tellers at gunpoint. No one was hurt.
The official said the money was in account of an Islamic charity frozen by the PMA, the central bank for President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority. The PMA has frozen several accounts in the Gaza Strip in their attempt to apply global regulations against money laundering.
The specific account was frozen in 2007 after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip.
This marks the second instance of Hamas seizing money from a private Palestinian bank this year. In March, Hamas security forces took $400,000 from a bank in the groups first direct challenge to the PMA.