I guess stealing is the least of the atrocities a terrorist organization can do. However, when it’s your own military equipment, stolen by fellow countrymen, that is a major offense.
The Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) revealed on Monday that the three Israeli businessmen who were indicted of smuggling goods to Hamas in Gaza were just the tip of a massive smuggling ring, which was arming the terrorist organization even during last summer’s war.
In an operation that had the ISA, Israel Police, Israel Tax Authority and State Attorney’s Office all work together aided by the Defense Ministry, the IDF and the Justice Ministry, Israel was able to expose the Hamas smuggling network and clamp down on it.
Through the network Hamas purchased and brought through the Kerem Shalom Crossing thousands of tons of raw materials used to build terror attack tunnels, training facilities and weapons of various types.
ISA noted that in many cases, the materials purchased in Israel were brought over the Kerem Shalom Crossing and then transported directly to Hamas training bases and terrorist installations, without even bothering to use a stop-over point to try and hide the tracks of the goods.
So far 26 suspects have been investigated in the operation, among them Israeli citizens, who took part in supplying, storing and smuggling the materials over the border.
Aside from the 26 investigated by the ISA, additional suspects are being investigated by the police and Israel Tax Authority, with truckloads of materials seized prior to being smuggled into the Hamas terror stronghold of Gaza.
Several serious indictments, including those for security offenses, have been filed in the Be’er Sheva district court, and requests to confiscate the seized vehicles and materials have been filed as well.
How did Hamas do it?
ISA, in announcing the operation, explained how exactly the smuggling ring worked.
Kerem Shalom Crossing is the only passage for merchandise and goods from Israel into Gaza, and even during Operation Protective Edge it was left open to provide Gaza’s civilian population with necessities – a fact which Hamas took advantage of.
Read more: israelnationalnews.com