Israel busts ring that smuggled vehicles for Hamas

Hamas constantly tries to circumvent Israel’s blockade on Gaza in order to try and smuggle materials that could be used for terror attacks or infrastructure.

Israel’s combined security services have exposed and captured a ring of Bedouins with Israel citizenship who were involved in smuggling pickup trucks to be used by Hamas forces in Gaza, the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) announced Tuesday.

The ring is suspected of having smuggled more than 100 trucks into Gaza over the course of 2016.

The Shin Bet named three primary suspects: Said Musalah, Faris Musalah and Noah Musala.

The 4×4 vehicles would be smuggled to Hamas by dismantling them into several parts, which could easily be assembled again. They were disguised as other types of cargo.

The ring knowingly knew they were smuggling the trucks for Hamas, the Shin Bet stated. The type of 4X4 vehicle they smuggled is a favorite of Hamas’ military wing and is often used by its operatives.

In July, Israel intercepted one of the dismantled cars, an incident that led to the exposure of the entire ring.

“This method did not surprise the security system and demonstrated the creativity Hamas employs in its efforts to rearm,” the Shin Bet stated.

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Other parts and large amounts of equipment were confiscated during the investigation.

The investigation is still ongoing, the Shin Bet said.

Israel’s combined security agencies have been successful in thwarting multiple smuggling attempts into Gaza, almost on a daily basis. Many of these operations have employed imaginative methods, including by sea and via Israel’s postal service.

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

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News