Israel stops biggest Gaza terrorist smuggling attempt ever

Israeli security forces thwarted the biggest attempt yet by Gaza terrorists to smuggle military equipment into the coastal enclave. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News

Israeli authorities exposed and seized a massive shipment of thousands of military-grade clothing items bound for Gaza, presumably to be used by one of the terror organizations that operate there.

Ashdod Port customs inspectors, who routinely inspect cargo destined for the Gaza Strip, recently discovered the largest ever consignment of military gear destined for the Strip, including thousands of items of military clothing and vests for holding military equipment.

The authority seized thousands of pairs of special military boots and winter jackets in camouflage colors.

The Gazan importer of the consignment, which originated in China, was due to receive it via the Kerem Shalom crossing. All items were handed over to the security establishment.

“Ashdod port customs inspectors are doing their utmost to thwart the efforts of Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations to arm and equip themselves. To this end, thousands of items for military use were seized in the past year,” a spokesman stated.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) and the Crossings Authority, together with the IDF’s Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (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.

Many of these smuggling operations have employed imaginative methods, including by sea and via Israel’s postal service. These attempts include smuggling everything from gun scopes to entire trucks.

Examples of items seized during thwarted smuggling attempts include drones and small UAVs, security cameras, dismantled vehicle parts, 4X4 engines and tires, lasers,  professional-grade diving equipment to be used by Hamas’ commandos, 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.