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Israel seizes 16 tons of Gaza-bound rocket-making material

The dual-use substance substance was hidden in a shipment of gypsum from Turkey.

Ammonium nitrate destined for the Gaza Strip that was being smuggled through the Port of Ashdod in July. Credit: Israeli Tax Authority.
Ammonium nitrate destined for the Gaza Strip that was being smuggled through the Port of Ashdod in July. Credit: Israeli Tax Authority.

Customs inspectors at Ashdod Port impounded 16 tons of rocket-making material in July, it was cleared for publication on Thursday.

Ashdod Customs and the National Cargo Inspection Center at Customs detained for inspection two containers weighing 54 tons that were supposed to contain sacks of gypsum. The containers, which arrived from Turkey, were intended to continue on to the Gaza Strip.

During the inspection, customs inspectors became suspicious that some of the material in the containers was not gypsum.

The material was taken to a laboratory for testing. It was then determined that 16 tons of ammonium chloride had been hidden among the gypsum.

Gaza terrorist groups use ammonium chloride, a dual-use substance, to manufacture rockets. Ammonium chloride mixed with fuel can be used as a rocket propellant.

Sixteen tons of ammonium chloride would produce enough propellant for thousands of rockets.

Since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, Israel and Egypt have enforced a blockade of the Strip to prevent weapons smuggling. As a result, terrorist groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have turned to producing their own rockets with Iranian assistance.

Earlier this month, the IDF foiled an attempt to smuggle “high-quality” explosives from the Gaza Strip into Israel in a shipment of clothing.
The smuggling attempt was made at the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is located at the southeastern corner of the Strip, close to the Egyptian border.

And last week, Israeli security forces thwarted an attempt to smuggle explosives in the Jordan Valley area.

Soldiers from the IDF’s Bekaa and Valleys Brigade worked in cooperation with the Israel Police to locate a bag that contained six standard explosive charges.

The IDF said the explosives were found as part of its ongoing activity to prevent the smuggling of weapons for the use of terrorists into the State of Israel.

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