Tamer Ahmed Muhammed Barim, a 36-year-old from Bnei Suhila in Gaza, was arrested at the Erez border crossing on 31 August 2015 by the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency).
Barim admitted to using his position as a trader to divert tonnes of building materials to Hamas, circumventing UN inspectors who seek to avoid the misuse of materials intended for the reconstruction of civilian infrastructure.
The Shin Bet stated that “the defence establishment views gravely this incident and intends to continue to locate and thwart attempts to smuggle building materials for the uses of terror and bring those involved to justice”.
Barim was charged on 1st October 2015 at Beersheba District Court for crimes against state security, including aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation.
The UK has provided £349 million towards Palestinian development between 2011 and 2015, including support for Gaza, the West Bank and Palestinian refugees throughout the region.
There are processes in place to prevent the misuse of funds, but this case demonstrates that it is possible for funds to be misappropriated which could lead to material being used by Hamas, for instance, to build terror tunnels.