Friday, February 06, 2009

$12M seized from Hamas spokesman at border

CAIRO, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Egyptian police discovered almost $12 million in cash in the luggage of a Hamas official returning to Gaza from talks in Cairo, officials said.
Ayman Taha, a spokesman for Hamas, and his companions said that the money -- $9 million and 2 million euros ($2.58 million) -- was needed to pay salaries of employees, The Times of London reported.
Taha and five other delegates to the Cairo talks were stopped Thursday at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza.
Egypt has been trying to broker a truce between Israel and Hamas but negotiations had reached an impasse with the main stumbling blocks border security and Israel's attempts to cut off Gaza. Members of the delegation planned to return to Cairo next week.
While Egyptian officials were unsure whether to deposit the money found on Taha in a bank or to allow him to keep it while he remains in Egypt, Israel said it would allow the Palestinian Authority to transfer $43 million to Gaza so that government workers can be paid.


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