Gaza ‘Fisherman’ Indicted for Smuggling Weapons to Hamas

An Israeli Navy vessel seen patrolling off the coast of Gaza. (Edi Israel/FLASH90)
An Israeli Navy vessel seen patrolling off the coast of Gaza. (Edi Israel/Flash90)

A resident of Gaza was indicted Sunday in a Be’er Sheva court for smuggling weapons to Hamas. The terrorist, a resident of Gaza, attempted to smuggle weapons and ammunition in a fishing boat. He is charged with weapons smuggling, aiding a terror organization, conducting relations with an enemy agent and conspiracy.

The 23 year old Gaza resident began working for Hamas in 2013, the indictment says. In that year, he smuggled diving equipment from an Egyptian ship onto a small boat Hamas supplied. In 2015, he raised the bar, attempting to smuggle 200 kg of weapons and ammunition in a fishing boat supplied by Hamas. For this, he was paid $1,200.

The payment was never made, because the fisherman was caught and the weapons confiscated. He was arrested and taken into custody by the Shin Bet. Police will now prosecute the case in court.

He is far from the only Gaza fisherman who has been caught smuggling weapons to Hamas via the sea. At least half a dozen instances of such attempts have been detected in the past several years. Israel has been strictly enforcing a maritime blockade off the coast of Gaza. Israeli ships have established a border of six nautical miles, beyond which fishing vessels from Gaza cannot venture, and ships from the outside may not cross.