Report of attempted smuggle one week before Passover cleared for publication Tuesday; Report released as Israel announces intention to open second border crossing into Gaza Strip; Investigation underway
The IDF and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) thwarted an attempted smuggling of over 4 tons of ammonium chloride into the Gaza Strip before Passover. The report was cleared for publication on Tuesday.
According to the Shin Bet, the chemicals were concealed in a shipment of salt, the chemicals to have been used for manufacturing long-range rockets. Initial reports give little information given an ongoing investigation is currently underway. The attempted smuggle was orchestrated by Hamas, the Shin Bet reportedly locating a terrorist linked to the shipment, a resident of the Gaza Strip.
The attempted smuggling occurred a week before Passover, the 4 tons of ammonium chloride concealed in a shipment labeled carrying 40 tons of salt. Additionally, both the IDF and Shin Bet uncovered and neutralized a terror tunnel from the Gaza Strip into Israel mid-April, IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner stating on the tunnel discovery “The tunnel uncovered in Israel demonstrates once more Hamas’ warped priorities and continued commitment and investment in tools of violence. This tunnel exposes Hamas’ abhorrent intentions to attack the men, women and children of southern Israel.”
The release of the smuggling attempt comes during Israel’s plans to reopen a second border crossing into the Gaza Strip for commercial traffic. The border crossing has been closed since 2000 during the Second Intifada and was used only for inspected and approved humanitarian aid and construction supplies.