Hamas assassination: Debit cards issued by firm with Israeli ties
The Hamas assassination in Dubai involved a number of people who traveled under the stolen identities of Israeli dual nationals. The pre-paid debit cards the alleged assassins used to pay their hotel bills while in Dubai also have connections to Israel.
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A major investor in Payoneer is US-based venture capital firm Greylock Partners, which has an office in Tel Aviv. Greylock partner, and founder of its Israel office, Moshe Mor served six years in the Israel Army as a captain in military intelligence, according to his profile at Greylock's website.Skip to next paragraph
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According to the website of Birthright Israel, which provides free 10-day trips for young Jews to visit Israel every summer, a Payoneer card must be obtained by all participants in the program to process a $250 deposit associated with the trip. Birthright, which receives about half of its funding from the Israeli government and the remainder from private Jewish charities, says it will provide free trips to 15,000 Jews aged 18-26 from more than 20 countries this coming summer.
On Tuesday, Dubai said it would bar Israeli dual nationals from traveling to the wealthy Emirate in retaliation for the murder. Dubai, a regional banking and tourism center, has generally liberal visa rules. Though like most Arab states, the UAE does not have a peace agreement with Israel, Dubai has generally taken a more relaxed stance toward Israeli visitors than other Arab states. In February, the government allowed Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer to participate in a tournament in Dubai.
To be sure, there's no evidence of tie between the company and the people who carried out the murder beyond that of customer and client. And it's hard to see why a company with Israeli ties would have necessarily been used for the prepaid cards even if Israel was involved. The fake passports used by the suspects were enough to fool immigration officers at the Dubai airport. So it's hard to see why the stolen identities used by the alleged assassins wouldn't have been sufficient to obtain prepaid cards from a company with few or no Israeli ties.
A press spokesman for the company said in an email that "Payoneer is not providing additional comment to the media at this time."
Below, a Youtube video of Payoneer CEO Yuval Tal talking about Israel's war in Lebanon in 2006 on Fox & Friends.
(This story was updated after publishing to include that Payoneer declined to comment and to correct a misspelling in a photo caption.)