Police stop massive arms smuggling from Lebanon, Hezbollah suspected

Evidence has been found of the involvement of Hezbollah, “which works through Israeli criminals to bring weapons into the territory of the State of Israel.”

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The IDF and Israel Police were successful in thwarting a massive arms smuggling operation from Lebanon into Israel of 100 grenades, and the Hezbollah terror organization is believed to be behind the operation.

The police stated that the IDF identified on Monday night movement near the Lebanese border fence. A special police unit dispatched to the area thwarted the operation and seized a bag containing 100 grenades of various types and two assault rifles.

The police pointed out that in some of the recent smuggling incidents that have been thwarted, evidence has been found of the involvement of Hezbollah, “which works through Israeli criminals to bring weapons into the territory of the State of Israel.”

Hezbollah provides the weapons while ensuring that at least some of them are designated for terrorist activity and the buildup of terrorist networks within Israel.

“The fact that spray grenades have been seized, an unusual weapon that has not yet been seized [on the border with Lebanon], raises the suspicion that they were intended to carry out attacks against crowded civilian places,” the police said.

Since the beginning of the year, the police have thwarted the smuggling of 148 handguns, 23 rifles of various types, and drugs with a cumulative value of millions of shekels.

The Hezbollah terror organization has been exposed previously as behind the smuggling of weapons and drugs into Israel. This successful operation came just hours after the IDF exposed Hezbollah’s ties to a well-known drug trafficker in southern Lebanon and the way he helps the terror group smuggle drugs and weapons into Israel, while exposing the identity of one of its commanders.

IDF Spokesperson for Arab Media Avichay Adraee unveiled on Monday a method of smuggling drugs and weapons into Israel on the Lebanese border, under the auspices of Hezbollah, from the house of Hatem Sheet in Kafr Kila.

Hasan Sareini, nicknamed Abu Muhammad, who is considered an assistant to notorious Hezbollah commander Hajj Khalil Yusif Harb, manages the smuggling operations on the Lebanese border, and has ties with Sheet.

Sheet, a Lebanese Shiite, known as a prominent drug dealer in southern Lebanon, operates a smuggling network from inside his home in Kafr Kila, with the approval and sponsorship of Hezbollah. From the balcony of his house, which overlooks Israeli territory, he makes smuggling attempts by dropping drugs and weapons along the border.

Sheet conducts reconnaissance work from his balcony to gather intelligence and learn about the movement of IDF forces in the vicinity. Sheet then communicates with Israeli smugglers through various communication applications such as Telegram to coordinate the date for a smuggling operation.

He uses couriers to reach the transfer point and throw the contraband, drugs or weapons, over the border fence, while he monitors the operation from his home and guides the Israeli smugglers to help them evade Israeli forces operating in the area.

For the first time, the name of Hasan Sareini is revealed, Adraee pointed out.

He further noted that in recent weeks, the IDF and Shin Bet security agency uncovered a number of Hezbollah drug and weapons smuggling networks led by Harb.