Israel intercepts Palestinian boat smuggling weapons to Hamas

Israel thwarted another attempt by Hamas terrorists to smuggle weapons into Gaza by sea, saying one of those arrested is a ‘senior smuggler.’

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli forces intercepted an attempt by Hamas terrorists to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip a few weeks ago, the Tazpit Press Service reported Thursday.

During a Shin Bet security service operation to track smugglers, the Israel Navy identified a suspected vessel and sent out forces to intercept it. Following a chase, the vessel was stopped and two terrorist operatives were arrested and brought to shore for interrogation.

The terrorists admitted during their questioning that the weapons they were smuggling were intended to be used by Hamas naval commandos.

Under questioning the smugglers gave details of Hamas’ maritime smuggling operations and other information on the ongoing Hamas military buildup.

One of the captured terrorists was identified as Mahmoud Bachar, a senior smuggler working with terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and his capture is “a significant operational achievement,” the Shin Bet noted.

Bachar was indicted in Beer Sheva District Court earlier this month.

“This counter-terrorism operation joins a series of operations aimed at disrupting Hamas’ intensification program in the Gaza Strip and significantly damages its military capabilities. It is part of the ongoing effort to thwart terrorist activity of any kind against Israeli citizens,” a Shin Bet statement said.

Since losing most of its lucrative smuggling tunnels dug under the Egypt-Gaza border, Hamas has developed alternative ways to arm itself including by sea and even by ordering online from the Chinese supplier AliExpress.

Israeli security forces have been working for years to shut down the different ways the Iran-backed terror organization smuggles not just weapons, but the raw materials to make weapons like ingredients for rocket fuel.

After seizing power in a bloody 2007 military coup, Hamas has held on to power and refuses any reconciliation with the Fatah organization of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that runs the Palestinian territories in Judea and Samaria.