Israel thwarts 2 terror smuggling attempts into Gaza 

Israeli security forces thwarted two more attempts by Gaza terrorists to smuggle military equipment into the coastal enclave. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Israeli authorities this week exposed and seized two shipments of terror-related items bound for the Gaza Strip, presumably to be used by one of the terror organizations that operate there.

In the first incident, Israeli Defense Ministry Crossings Authority security inspectors at the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza, working with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), thwarted the smuggling of IDF uniforms, found inside a truck, into Gaza.

The driver and truck were stopped after arousing suspicion, and a subsequent search of the truck uncovered IDF uniforms, both dress uniforms and fatigues, as well as jackets, hats, bags and belts.

The truck and the items were confiscated and a further investigation was launched into the matter.

In the second incident this week, inspectors seized a quantity of mercury that was part of a consignment of medical equipment due to be sent to the Gaza Strip, but which was not coordinated with security officials as is required in such cases.

Mercury is a dual-use material that can be used for terrorist activity, and Israel tracks and issues permits for such substances when required.

The mercury was confiscated for further investigation by security forces.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) and the Crossings Authority, together with 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.