update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Israel thwarts attempt to smuggle Iranian explosives from Jordan

The explosives were destined for Palestinian terror groups in Judea and Samaria.

Gunmen attend the funeral in Jenin of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Matin Dabaya, who was killed during clashes with Israeli forces, Oct. 14, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.
Gunmen attend the funeral in Jenin of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist Matin Dabaya, who was killed during clashes with Israeli forces, Oct. 14, 2022. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces cleared for publication on Sunday the foiling last month of an attempt to smuggle Iranian-made explosives from Jordan into the Jewish state.

The attempt was thwarted on July 24 near Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud and Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’akov Meudhad in the Jordan Valley, a short distance south of the Sea of Galilee.

Security forces said the explosives were destined for Palestinian terrorist groups in Judea and Samaria. They were investigating how the weapons reached the Israel-Jordan border.

The Israeli government is planning to build a security barrier along the country’s eastern border with the Hashemite kingdom in an effort to thwart Iranian efforts to stir up violence.

Last week, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) revealed that security forces recently arrested four Arab Israelis on suspicion of smuggling Iranian-made explosives from Lebanon into Israel.

Three of the suspects were named as Galal Harsa, 28, Ahmed Issa, 30, and Muhammad Issa, 39, from the central Israeli city of Kafr Qasim, located 12 miles east of Tel Aviv. During a raid in Lod, 9.5 miles southeast of Tel Aviv, officers apprehended the fourth suspect, identified as Noah Easem, 30.

The men were allegedly part of a criminal ring and smuggled the Iranian explosive devices into the country on behalf of Hezbollah, Tehran’s Lebanese terrorist proxy.

Hezbollah is thought to have recruited the four suspects to operate an elaborate smuggling network in the Jewish state, which was also used to distribute illegal drugs to criminal groups.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant earlier this month accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of orchestrating the most recent surge in Palestinian terrorism, which saw three Israelis killed and one seriously wounded in just under 72 hours.

“We are in the midst of a terror onslaught that is being encouraged, directed and financed by Iran and its proxies,” said Netanyahu following a situational assessment at the site of one of the attacks near Hebron in Judea.

Added Gallant: “It is important to understand the significant change that is taking place on the ground; it is related to Iranian funding and to the proliferation of weapons under the Iranian directive. Iran seeks every means to harm the citizens of Israel. … All options are on the table.”

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