Tel Aviv [Israel] : Israel Defence Forces (IDF) has alleged that they have uncovered documents from a tunnel in the Gaza Strip, that indicate direct links and coordination with Iran of the Hamas terror group.
Addressing a press conference, IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the evidence indicated that over USD 150 million dollars were transferred from Iran to Hamas between the years 2014 to 2020.
He said that the Isareli military will publish some of the ‘intelligence information found there by our forces – indicating a direct ‘connection’ from Iran to Hamas and more so – to Yahya Sinwar.’
‘We found official Hamas documents from 2020 detailing the funds transferred by Iran between the years 2014 and 2020 to Hamas and to Sinwar. More than one hundred and fifty million dollars were transferred from Iran to Hamas,’ he added.
He said that this was another example of how ‘Iran exports terror across the Middle East.’ ‘The terror that Iran exports and produces is a global problem,’ he said.
Israeli intelligence passes this information to its partners across the world for verification.
Spokesperson Hagari further highlighted that they had found a safe containing over 20 million shekels in cash.
‘In the same subterranean space, we also found a safe with banknotes and bags containing more than twenty million shekels in cash, as you can see in the blue and black bags addressed to a clear location,’ the IDF spokesperson added.
He emphasised that large sums of cash are kept in organized compounds underground for the personal use of senior Hamas officials.
‘These amounts join tens of millions of shekels we located during the war in Hamas tunnels in cases filled with millions of dollars,’ he said.
Additionally, he said, ‘Hamas leaders invested the money in their personal survival and that of their families underground.’
Emphasising that 133 days have passed since the war began, the IDF spokesperson said that they have not forgotten the hostages for a moment.
‘We are making every effort to bring them home and to extract all information about them and their condition,’ he said.
The IDF, he said, is accompanying the families of the hostages during these complex and difficult days, and their representatives provided the families with all the verified information about their loved ones.
With this, they have told 31 families that their loved ones who are hostages are no longer alive and have confirmed their deaths, the spokesperson said.
‘We continue to operate in order to create the conditions to bring all the hostages home. This is a moral, national, and international obligation. It is our compass and it is how we will continue to act,’ Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said.
Reportedly, IDF soldiers continue to operate in Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip and are intensifying achievements in the north of the Strip.
Khan Yunis, Gaza’s second-largest city, is regarded as a personal stronghold of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.
In Khan Yunis, special units are operating in the subterranean area, together with the Israel Security Agency, using advanced technology and precise intelligence to locate Hamas’ strategic compounds underground, IDF spokesperson Hagari said while addressing the briefing.
Despite the dozens of kilometres of tunnels, there are not many compounds left and the Israeli forces have reached most of them.
‘We have located compounds where Hamas leaders hid and from where they managed the fighting, some of which held hostages and others contained intelligence material,’ he said. He further thanked the intelligence, that has been located underground, investigated and studied in the Intelligence Directorate (J2) and the ISA, adding that they are further launching, new operations and destroying new Hamas terror infrastructure.
‘This is how we are currently acting in a military operation against terror sites in the north of the Strip. IDF soldiers are there at this moment, in the midst of a wide operation in the Shati area, in Gaza City, which we will update later,’ he stated.
The forces are reaching additional sensitive Hamas infrastructure underground, eliminating terrorists remaining in the area and thwarting Hamas’ attempts to rebuild its capabilities. Highlighting the exercise that took place in Judea and Samaria, he said that the Central Command exercised the Judea and Samaria Division in a large number of scenarios.
‘The division trains for one purpose only – to better protect the residents. Since the beginning of the war, the Central Command, under the personal leadership of the Commanding Officer of the Central Command, MG Yehuda Fox, has been working non-stop to protect the security of the residents, thwarting terror together with the ISA in close cooperation with the settlements,’ he said.
Hagari further reassured the Israeli people that they would protect the residents from the soldiers to the last of the commanders, adding that the IDF would investigate, learn, and continue to perform its mission in the most professional and practical manner.