Border Guards Foil Smuggling Attempt into Gaza

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli authorities said that on Wednesday morning they intercepted a truck carrying a cargo of stainless steel panels that was being smuggled into Gaza for Hamas terrorist purposes.

In accordance with orders from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, enforcement of restrictions on imports of dual-use materials into Gaza have been tightened. In line with the new policy, Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) has imposed more severe sanctions on persons or companies caught attempting to smuggle such materials into the Hamas enclave.

Whereas in the past, only the contraband items themselves were impounded, as of now the entire shipment is seized by the authorities and the driver is taken into police custody for questioning. In addition, about a month ago, a telecom firm was fined hundreds of thousands of shekels for attempting to smuggle into Gaza communications and fiber optics equipment without proper permits. The items were dual-use, which could be used either for civilian needs or terrorism.