(November 28, 2019 / JNS) Israeli security forces have thwarted an attempt to smuggle a massive quantity of military equipment into the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces revealed on Thursday.
The Israeli military said that officials from the Defense Ministry’s Crossings Authority, along with officers from the Gaza District Coordination Office and the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) seized hundreds of parcels of dual-use products at the Erez Crossing.
The products were bought online in hopes of eluding detection and were destined for terrorist groups in Gaza, the military said.
Israeli authorities, including the Crossing Authority, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), COGAT, the Israel Police and Israel Tax Authority, regularly intercept contraband heading for Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad at crossings from Israel into the Gaza Strip.
According to COGAT officials, the shipment seized on Wednesday included 325 packages ordered online from popular websites such as AliExpress and Amazon. The goods confiscated included military and electronic equipment such as skimmers, knives, scuba gear, drones, satellite communications equipment, binoculars and more.
Special permits are required from Israeli authorities to import dual-use goods, such as cameras, into the Gaza Strip, according to COGAT.
“This is another example of how terrorist organizations in Gaza are trying to exploit the postal service for terror purposes,” said IDF Col. Iyad Sarhan, head of the Coordination and Liaison Administration in Gaza.
“These attempts are thwarted time and again by the IDF, and we view them with all severity. We will continue to work around the clock and do all that we can to prevent their attempts to compromise Israel’s security,” he said.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.
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