Israel stops weapons smuggling to Gaza via AliExpress

Israeli security forces thwarted attempts by Gaza terrorists to smuggle military equipment into Gaza under the guise of online purchases. 

By: World Israel News Staff

​Israel’s security forces have recently discovered that terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip are attempting to exploit international online shopping to smuggle prohibited products into Gaza.

Israel’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday that security inspectors foiled hundreds of attempts to smuggle illicit “dual use” items in Gaza, which were ordered from online stores, including AliExpress, one of the world’s largest websites. Some of the  illicit online  included  drones, small UAVs, and security cameras. “Dual-use” materials are products that can be used for civilian purposes, and also for terrorist activities.  Some of the items discovered could have easily been used during the carrying out of a terrorist attack.

Hundreds of packages are screened and are processed through Israel’s Erez Crossing in to Gaza every day, and the IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has confiscated hundreds of such items.  According to COGAT, “Terrorist organizations continue to exploit the civilian mail service, which is meant for Gaza’s residents, for negative purposes,”

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The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) and the Crossings Authority, together with the COGAT, Israeli Police and the Tax Authority, continue to fight persistent attempts to smuggle contraband into the Gaza Strip.

The Crossings Authority thwarted 1,226 attempts to smuggle contraband into Gaza in 2016, a 165% increase from 2015.  Smuggling attempts have increased each year since Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014.  The illicit goods included dismantled vehicle parts, 4X4 engines and tires, lasers, rappelling equipment, professional-grade diving equipment to be used by Hamas’ commandos, communications equipment, car batteries, military clothing, dual-use fiberglass employed in terror-tunnel building, liquid polyester and adhesive material used for rocket building, spiral welding, aluminum and iron pipes, water pumps used for terror tunnels, metal pellets, steel rods and more materials used in the various stages of rocket and mortar production.