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22 May 2024

Israel charged bribes for Gaza access: WikiLeaks

American multi-nationals were forced to cough up bribes by Israeli officials, according to the leaked documents. (AP)


A US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks quotes American officials as saying a key Israeli cargo crossing for goods entering the Gaza Strip was rife with corruption.

The June 14, 2006, cable, published Thursday by Norway's Aftenposten daily, says major American companies told US diplomats they were forced to pay hefty bribes to get goods into Gaza.

It quotes a Coca-Cola executive as saying he was asked to pay more than $3,000 to get a truckload of merchandise through.

The executive claimed an unidentified "high-level official" at the crossing headed the corruption ring.

The alleged corruption occurred a year before Hamas overran Gaza and Israel imposed an economic blockade.

At that time, however, Israeli-Palestinian violence frequently closed the border crossings.