Romain Frank delivered 70 pistols and 2 assault rifles between Gaza and West Bank; Over 9 arrests made; Israel’s Foreign Ministry: The ties with France are excellent and the affair doesn’t adversely affect them.
A French consulate worker In Israel was arrested for smuggling weapons between the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Reports surfaced after Israel’s internal security agency, the Shin Bet, confirmed two employees of the French consulate in Israel were arrested mid-February, the French national to appear before a court on Monday.
According to the Shin Bet, Romain Frank was working for a smuggling ring in the West Bank and Jerusalem alongside an Arab-Israeli employee of the French consulate. Frank reportedly carried out 5 smuggling rounds using French consulate vehicles between the Strip and West Bank. He reportedly delivered a total of 70 pistols and 2 assault rifles.
The Shin Bet reported Monday “The consulate employee has smuggled weapons on several occasions in recent months, taking advantage of the consular vehicle of the French consulate, which has facilitated the security check at the border crossing, as is customary for these vehicles. The consulate employee transferred arms on five occasions, during which he transferred some 70 pistols and two automatic rifles.”
According to the Shin Bet, over 9 arrests have been made since mid-February connected to the smuggling ring.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to reports that the events would damage French-Israeli relations, releasing the statement “The ties with France are excellent and the affair doesn’t adversely affect them.”
Photo: Romain Frank, Shin Bet, 2018