Hamas Closes Casino - Thursday 9th of March 2006

ISRAEL – As reported by the Arutz Sheva: "The Oasis Casino, which sometimes had a daily turnover of close to a million dollars, was built in Jericho after the signing of the Oslo Accords, over ten years ago. In 1999, it made a profit of $54 million from the close to 2,900 people who visited the casino daily - 99% of them Israelis.

"The casino shut down in late 2000, a month after the PA started the Oslo War, after its roof was used for terrorist gunfire attacks at Israeli targets. The building was heavily damaged by Israeli retaliatory fire, and though it was later refurbished, it has never re-opened.

"In September 2005, the German weekly 'Focus' reported that Austrian businessman Martin Schlaff, a co-owner of the casino, tried to bribe PM Sharon into re-opening the casino earlier than planned. The reports stated that Schlaff allegedly funneled some $4.5 million into Sharon family bank accounts, possibly via Sharon's friend Cyril Kern, in exchange for a decision to re-open the casino. This took place, the reports state, in February 2002, 16 months after the casino was closed.

"Another Sharon controversy regarding the casino involved the Prime Minister's top aide Dov Weisglass…"

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