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Bank of Palestine targeted in Hamas robbery

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Armed groups in Gaza, including Hamas, last month robbed the Bank of Palestine of some $70 million, French daily Le Monde reported Saturday.

The funds were taken from the vaults of several branches of the bank in Gaza © Mena Today 

Armed groups in Gaza, including Hamas, last month robbed the Bank of Palestine of some $70 million, French daily Le Monde reported Saturday.

The funds were taken from the vaults of several branches of the bank, it said, citing a Bank of Palestine document sent to "certain international partners" detailing the robberies.

On April 16, staff discovered a hole in the ceiling of the safe deposit room at one of the bank's Gaza branches and found that some $3 million worth of Israeli shekels destined for cash dispensers were missing, Le Monde said.

The next day, armed groups equipped with explosives returned to the site, blew up a cement protection chamber, and took more than $30 million in various currencies from three safes.

Two days later, the biggest Gaza branch was attacked by commandos who said they answered to "Gaza's highest authorities," which the paper said is understood to mean Hamas. They took more than $36 million worth of shekels.

The Bank of Palestine, founded in 1960, is Gaza's leading financial institution. 

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