The Israeli navy has averted an attempt to smuggle weapons from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to the Gaza Strip via the Mediterranean. It was a joint operation between the navy and the security service Shin Bet that led to the arms smuggling being stopped. The incident happened three months ago, but will only be known now.
Two Palestinians were on board the ship used in the smuggling attempt. In connection with the investigation, the two admitted that the weapons they smuggled were to be delivered to Hamas’ naval command, writes the Jerusalem Post.
– By stopping arms smuggling, we prevent the terrorist group Hamas from arming itself further. [..] The navy works to monitor and prevent terrorist activities and arms smuggling, so the terrorist group can not use the sea to improve its capabilities, the defense said in a statement.
During the Gaza war in 2014, five so-called frogmen from the naval unit in Hamas to infiltrate the kibbutz Zikim, but was shot and killed in gun-exchange with Israeli soldiers. The five terrorists had entered Israel via the Mediterranean. Since 2014, Hamas has invested heavily in their seed unit. Today it is believed to be approx. 1,500 Hamas terrorists who are frogmen.
In recent years, the Israeli navy has stopped several attempts to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip via the sea route. Since 2007, the Israeli defense has had a naval blockade of Gaza to prevent the smuggling of weapons to terrorist groups.
Read MIFF’s previous article on arms smuggling into Gaza here.