Israeli authorities intercepted a cache of diving suits being smuggled into the Gaza Strip at the Nitzana customs terminal, it was announced on Monday.
The operation, which took place in early May, was conducted by customs employees and the Shin Bet, according to The Jerusalem Post.
It was described by officials as the latest in a “series of attempts to smuggle weapons and equipment to the Gaza Strip.” Import documents claimed that the suspicious package contained sports suits, “but a thorough check by Nitzana customs employees found 40 diving suits inside, which require special approval for import to the coastal enclave — the approval was not requested in this import,” the Customs Directorate said.
Security sources believe the package was destined for Hamas, which is intent on building up a naval strike force.
“Customs employees at the Nitzana border crossing have witnessed a rise in the number of attempts to smuggle weapons and means to manufacture weapons to Gaza,” the Customs Directorate said.
“In the last four months alone… employees prevented the smuggling of 1200 polyurethane tubes, used to manufacture thrust material for rockets, hidden in a silicon shipment, [as well as another type of] material [also] used to produce thrust for rockets, hidden in paint tins. They also found over 400 pounds of raw sulfur rods, which can be used to produce weapons, hardener material used as fuel for furnaces for casting metals, and 18 tons of metallurgical coke-type carbon, hidden in a dry food package.”