Army nabs three gun-smuggling suspects on Lebanon border

Troops spot suspects leaving behind bag, near village of Ghajar; five MP5 sub-machine guns, ammunition seized

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Sub-machine guns seized by Israeli troops after an alleged smuggling from Lebanon, on May 9, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)
Sub-machine guns seized by Israeli troops after an alleged smuggling from Lebanon, on May 9, 2022. (Israel Defense Forces)

The Israeli military arrested three suspects in northern Israel on Monday during an alleged attempt to smuggle weapons over the border from Lebanon.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops operating security cameras identified the three approaching the village of Ghajar, which straddles the border between Israel and Lebanon.

The suspects left behind a bag with five MP5 sub-machine guns and ammunition, in that same area, according to the military.

Troops and police officers were dispatched to the scene and the men were arrested.

Last month, security forces foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of grenades and two firearms from Lebanon, in what police suspect was part of a terror plot.

Officials have warned that Hezbollah is attempting to arm Arab Israelis to enable them to commit terror attacks, in the event of another surge of violence between Jews and Arabs.

In March, police said officers seized dozens of firearms from Arab Israeli gun smugglers, in what was the largest-ever bust of weapons smuggled from Lebanon.

That attempted smuggling came days after the Shin Bet security agency announced that two Arab Israelis were arrested for operating on behalf of Hezbollah, or under orders from Iran, to smuggle guns into Israel.

A security official warned in March that Iran is seeking revenge against Israel for various actions against it, by transferring weapons to Hezbollah “sleeper cells” that would attack senior Israeli officials, military officers, and politicians.

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