Hamas smuggle

The confiscated shipment. (Crossings Authority)

Israeli officials caught a shipment of drones intended for use in terror-related activities against Israel. 

Security inspectors and Israeli security forces have recently prevented an attempt to smuggle several drones into Gaza, which are suspected to have been intended for the use of the Hamas terror organization, a Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) spokesman announced Sunday.

Inspectors at the Kerem Shalom border crossing stopped in recent weeks an Israeli truck that was ostensibly carrying toys into Gaza.

A close examination of the cargo reveled that several drones, of different models and sizes, equipped with hi-tech cameras, were hidden under the toys.

Security forces believe the cameras were meant to be used by Hamas to collect intelligence on IDF forces operating in the Gaza area.

Similar attempts to smuggle drones into Gaza have been thwarted in recent weeks, the Shin Bet added in the statement.

The shipment was confiscated and Israel’s intelligence agencies launched an investigation to track down the network that is behind the smuggling attempts.

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.

In December, Israel prevented the smuggling of armored plates into the Gaza Strip, apparently to be used by Hamas’ armed forces.

In November, Israeli security forces intercepted a Palestinian truck carrying hundreds of liters of banned chemical substance that can be used for rocket production, en route from Hebron to Gaza.

In April, Israel caught 18 tons of special “metallurgical coke” coal which is used as fuel in firing furnaces to forge metals, en route to 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.