IDF thwarts Hamas attempt to smuggle weapons-making materials

Israel thwarted the smuggling of weapons-productions materials into Gaza by Hamas terrorists over the weekend. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Israel’s security forces successfully thwarted an attempt to smuggle weapons-production materials into Gaza on Sunday, a spokesman announced on Monday. The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) and Israel’s Tax Authority were active in the seizure operation.

Smugglers attempted to get 18 tons of special “metallurgical coke” coal and were caught at the Nitzana border crossing into Gaza.

The coal is used as fuel in firing furnaces to forge metals.

Intelligence collected by the security forces indicated that the coal was meant to assist terrorists in Gaza to produce metals used for weapons.

“This seizure is one of many successes in the significant and joint effort of both organizations to locate smuggling into the Gaza Strip through the border crossing, with an objective of uprooting this phenomenon completely and ensuring the security of the state of Israel,” the Tax Authority said in a statement.

IDF forces as seen from the Gaza side of the border. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

IDF forces as seen from the Gaza side of the border. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

A month and a half ago, Israel uncovered an efficient network operated by Hamas to acquire and smuggle materials used for strengthening the organization’s military infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

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By means of this network, Hamas purchased and brought into the Strip thousands of tons of raw materials that were used in its military installations and training facilities in order to prepare terror tunnels and for the manufacture of war material.

In January, Israeli naval forces successfully intercepted a shipment of materials used for weapons-production on its way to Gaza. Three boatmen were caught trying to smuggle liquid fiberglass, which is used to manufacture rockets and mortars.

The spokesman stressed that all of the security forces’ branches were working jointly – through operational, legal and penal methods – against the smuggling.

Since Israel decimated Hamas’ terror infrastructure during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas has been working relentlessly to rehabilitate its networks and replenish its weapons stockpiles.

In April, The Telegraph reported that “Iran has sent Hamas’ military wing tens of millions of dollars to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza” destroyed by Israel during the summer campaign. “It [Iran] is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighborhoods in Israel.”