Security Officials Seize Frogman Suits Bound for Gaza

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

Israeli security officials on Monday seized over 30 frogman suits that were being smuggled into Gaza. The suits, for deep sea scuba divers, are contraband in Gaza, as they can be used to conduct terror attacks against Israelis. There were several instances of such attacks in recent years, including during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when Hamas terrorists attempted to conduct a terror attack from the sea.

The suits were discovered in an otherwise nondescript shipment of athletic equipment, ordered by merchants in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron for sale in Gaza. Such shipments are made to Ashdod, and are released to the PA or Gaza after a security check. Officials said they would investigate how the suits got past inspectors at the port, and were only noticed at the Kerem Shalom checkpoint, where inspectors found them. Officials seized the shipment, and said they would arrest those responsible for it.

Also Monday, IDF troops and officials of the Civil Authority removed about 150 trees that had been illegally planted by Palestinian Authority Arabs. The trees were planted in Nachal Kanah in central Shomron, which is part of Area C, under Israeli civilian and military control. The trees were planted on an area classified as state land, inside a nature reserve.

Officials said that by destroying the trees they were able to head off a future claim by Arabs that the land had historically belonged to their families, a common tactic among PA Arabs who attempt to grab state land for themselves.

Meanwhile, police in Yerushalayim on Monday arrested a female Arab who had made hundreds of phone calls to police about suspicious objects and people. Police are obligated to send out a squad to investigate each such call; and the Arab woman, a resident of the Anata neighborhood, deliberately misled police in order to keep them busy and take them away from the security jobs they were needed for, police said. She confessed to making the calls, and police have extended her remand. She is to be evaluated by a psychologist as well.