February 08, 2008

Egypt: Gazans Used Counterfeit Money in Sinai

From Egypt: Gazans Used Counterfeit Money in Sinai:

About $1 million in counterfeit bills, apparently originating in Gaza, were seized in Sinai in the past few days, Egyptian security sources told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an on Thursday.

According to the sources, the Egyptians received warnings regarding counterfeit bills making their way into Sinai immediately after Hamas gunmen breached the Gaza-Egypt border, and these warnings were delivered to the merchants, most of whom made sure to examine the money.

Less than a week ago, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat reported that Hamas was seriously contemplating severing the Gaza Strip’s economic ties with Israel, quoting a senior advisor to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

The advisor, Ahmed Yousef, was asked whether Hamas was also considering abandoning the use of Israeli currency in the Strip. Yousef indicated that this “might be possible in the future. Residents of Gaza can always trade in American Dollars, Jordanian Dinars or Egyptian Pounds at a later point.”