Israeli defense ministry suspects contraband was meant for Hamas military wing
Jack Beyrer • May 24, 2021 2:20 pm
Israel’s defense ministry announced Monday that Israeli authorities seized suspected military contraband headed to Gaza.
The contraband included communications equipment and chemicals used for explosive devices. Israeli defense officials said they suspect the shipments are meant for Hamas’s al-Qassam brigades, the terrorist group’s organized military wing.
The seizures come during a ceasefire brokered by senior Israeli leaders and the Palestinians after 11 days of conflict. Hamas’s bombing attacks on Israeli civilians have left more than a dozen dead.
Since the ceasefire, Israel has also intercepted a shipment of gold from Gaza to the West Bank that amounted to more than $300,000. Militants had attempted to smuggle the gold by melting it into the shape of nails and putting it in wood.
An Israeli defense ministry statement said the smuggling operation is intended to fund Hamas terrorist operations, including those against Israel.
“The smuggling of gold from Gaza is part of Hamas’ efforts to finance the activities of the terrorist organization in the West Bank,” the statement said. “The value of the seizures is estimated at million shekels.”