An Islamic Hamas movement official condemned on Tuesday Israel's confiscation of equipment and materials for printing houses in the Gaza Strip.
Head of the Hamas government media office, Salameh Maarouf, told reporters in Gaza that the measure was "an Israeli piracy and shows that the siege imposed on the Strip since 2007 is still continuing.
Maarouf accused Israel of "fabricating lies to justify the confiscation of the printing equipment and materials.
“Israel is deluding the international public opinion by trying to show that everything in the Gaza Strip is used in one way or another in the framework of military action,” he said.
He added that there are 70 licensed print houses in the Gaza Strip, which are threatened that its work will stop if their needs of printing materials are not allowed into Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli blockade.
Maarouf indicated that this would negatively affect the ongoing preparations for holding the Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for May 22nd and the printing of the elections campaigns materials for the electoral lists.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed orders to confiscate equipment intended for printing houses in the Gaza Strip, which he said they are belonging to Hamas.
A statement issued by Gantz’s office said that “during a joint activity of the National Anti-Economic Terrorism Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense and the National Center for Goods and Customs Diagnostics of the Tax Authority, raw materials intended for the printing houses used by Hamas in the Gaza Strip were recently seized.”
The statement added that among the things that were seized were containers of paper materials that arrived through the port of Ashdod and large shipments of ink products that are intended to enter into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing with the Gaza Strip.
The statement indicated that the equipment is used by two Hamas printers in Gaza, one of which provides printing services to the movement, including printing leaflets, posters and propaganda messages for the military wing of the Al-Qassam Brigades, and the other for the print house that prints the Palestine newspaper, which is the official Hamas newspaper in the Gaza Strip.
"Hamas printing materials are propaganda tools that create a machine for incitement, lies and terrorism," Gantz said in the statement.
"We will continue to work using the economic tools led by the National Anti-Terrorism Headquarters to dry up the sources of terrorism."