Is­raeli Au­thor­i­ties seize dual-use prod­ucts headed for ter­ror groups in Gaza,

Bought on­line, items in­clude night-vi­sion gog­gles and laser sights

Jerusalem Post - - FRONT PAGE - • By ANNA AHRONHEIM

Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties have seized hun­dreds of parcels of pro­hib­ited prod­ucts bought on­line and des­tined for ter­ror groups in the Gaza Strip, the De­fense Min­istry an­nounced Tues­day.

In the past few weeks se­cu­rity of­fi­cials iden­ti­fied var­i­ous el­e­ments in the Gaza Strip us­ing on­line shop­ping sites, in­clud­ing AliEx­press, to smug­gle pro­hib­ited prod­ucts into Gaza un­der the guise of sup­pos­edly in­no­cent pack­ages.

Of­fi­cials from the Cross­ing Au­thor­ity of the Min­istry of De­fense along with rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Gaza District Co­or­di­na­tion Of­fice (DCO) and the Of­fice of the Co­or­di­na­tor of Gov­ern­ment Ac­tiv­i­ties in the Ter­ri­to­ries (COGAT) seized the prod­ucts at the Erez Cross­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­fense Min­istry the prod­ucts seized in Oc­to­ber in­cluded laser sights, tele­scopes, binoc­u­lars, laser point­ers, metal de­tec­tors, ra­dios, cam­ou­flage de­vices, minia­ture drones, cam­eras and night vi­sion gog­gles.

Among other prod­ucts dis­cov­ered in the pack­ages by Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties in­cluded com­puter moth­er­boards and elec­tronic cir­cuits, in­vert­ers, an op­ti­cal ca­ble cut­ter, an op­ti­cal mag­ni­fi­ca­tion de­vice, a mini elec­tric drill, pro­fes­sional head­lamps, volt­age sta­bi­liz­ers, power sup­plies and op­ti­cal con­nec­tors.

The prod­ucts, which are viewed by the de­fense es­tab­lish­ment as dual-use and can also be used for civil­ian pur­poses, were ex­am­ined by COGAT of­fi­cers and “it is sus­pected that some of the de­vices seized could have been used as im­pro­vised weapons,” read the De­fense Min­istry’s state­ment.

Im­port­ing dual-use goods into the Gaza Strip, such as cam­eras, re­quires a spe­cial per­mit.

Is­raeli au­thor­i­ties in­ter­cept il­licit goods head­ing to Ha­mas on a reg­u­lar ba­sis at cross­ings from Is­rael into the Strip. Last Jan­uary, the Of­fice of the Co­or­di­na­tor of Gov­ern­ment Ac­tiv­i­ties in the Ter­ri­to­ries (COGAT) said that it had foiled 1,226 smug­gling at­tempts in 2016 through the Kerem Shalom cross­ing, an in­crease of 165% from the pre­vi­ous year.

In Oc­to­ber, au­thor­i­ties foiled two sep­a­rate at­tempts to smug­gle thou­sands of mil­i­tary-grade gloves and boots la­beled as slip­pers des­tined for Ha­mas’s mil­i­tary wing in Gaza. Both the gloves and the boots were dis­cov­ered af­ter au­thor­i­ties at the Kerem Shalom Cross­ing stopped an Is­raeli truck car­ry­ing a large ship­ment of cloth­ing prod­ucts and another car­ry­ing a large ship­ment of “slip­pers” af­ter they aroused sus­pi­cion.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­fense Min­istry, when se­cu­rity of­fi­cials ex­am­ined the in­no­cent look­ing slip­pers, which had emo­jis on them, they found pro­fes­sional-grade Mag­num mil­i­tary boots in a va­ri­ety of col­ors.

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