Millions of funds seized by occupation soldiers were scheduled to be sent to the Palestinian Authority (Shutterstock)

The Israeli newspaper Maariv said on Sunday that an Israeli force seized 200 million shekels ($54.3 million) a week ago after storming the Bank of Palestine in Gaza City.

The newspaper quoted unnamed army officers as saying: “Israeli soldiers were in the Al-Rimal neighborhood in the heart of Gaza and risked their lives to extract hundreds of millions of shekels that were allocated to the Palestinian Authority from the Bank of Palestine.”

She added that the soldiers seized 200 million shekels from the Bank of Palestine that was scheduled to be sent to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah in the West Bank.

Israeli army officials told the newspaper that the operation to seize Palestinian funds took place after soldiers came under fire from a sniper in the vicinity of the bank. The force arrived at the bank and then stormed it.

The newspaper asked, "Why should Israeli army soldiers expose themselves to danger in an operation aimed at extracting money that would have reached the Palestinian Authority?"

An Israeli army spokesman told the newspaper, “A week ago, Israeli forces worked at the Bank of Palestine in Gaza to prevent money from reaching Hamas.”

He added that this step "was based on the decision of the political level, and keeping the money and the party to which it will be transferred are subject to its decision."

As of yesterday, Saturday, the Israeli war on Gaza had left 28,176 martyrs and 67,784 injured - most of them children and women - in addition to thousands missing under the rubble, according to the Palestinian authorities.

It also caused massive destruction and an unprecedented catastrophic humanitarian crisis, with scarce supplies of food, water and medicine, and the displacement of about two million Palestinians, that is, more than 85% of the population of the Strip, according to the United Nations.

Source: Al Jazeera + Anatolia