Not for the first time, Israeli security prevented weaponry and materials for tunnel digging from reaching Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Israeli authorities were successful in thwarting an attempt to smuggle pipes used to produce mortars and rockets and tens of motors used by Hamas to dig its terror tunnels, Israel’s Defense Ministry announced Thursday.
Border crossing security inspectors, working in conjunction with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), confiscated the large shipment of goods suspected of being intended for Hamas terrorist elements in Gaza at the Tarqumiya Crossing in the Hebron area.
The cargo was concealed in a supposedly innocent supply of textiles and jewelry. It included hundreds of four-inch metal tubes, with special drill fittings used to manufacture mortars and rockets and dozens of electric motors used in various fortification tasks, including the construction of Hamas’ underground tunnel network.
The consignment was intended for Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The shipment was confiscated and an investigation has been launched to find those involved in the smuggling.
Israel’s combined security agencies have been successful in thwarting more than 500 attempts to smuggle illicit materials from Israel into the Gaza Strip since the beginning of 2015. Over 280 trucks have been confiscated as a result of illegal activity over the course of 2014.
In many of the incidents, the smuggled materials are meant for Hamas’ rocket production program or its military build-up.
Most recently in May, Israel’s police announced it had thwarted an attempt to smuggle 60,000 springs used in the production of grenades, mortars and rockets, before they arrived at their destination in Gaza.
Earlier in May, Israeli authorities were successful in foiling an attempt to smuggle chemicals into the Gaza Strip, which would have been used to produce hundreds of long-range rockets.
In February, they thwarted an attempt to smuggle several drones into Gaza.
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