Border guards nab Palestinian smuggling 37 pistols from Jordan to Israel

Suspect spotted crossing into Jordan and coming back hours later with a backpack containing over 3 dozen handguns, police say

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Israeli security forces foiled an apparent plot to smuggle 37 handguns into Israel from Jordan earlier this month, in an operation that was kept under a gag order until Sunday, police said.

On February 7, Border Police officers spotted the primary suspect, a Palestinian man from the Nablus area, as he attempted to cross the border fence into northern Israel from Jordan wearing a large backpack.

The border guards, assisted by the Israel Defense Forces, arrested the man shortly after he crossed into the northern Jordan Valley and found inside his bag the 37 pistols of various types, police said.

The police arrested three other Palestinian suspects — all from the Nablus area — whom they believe were planning to pick up the suspect after he crossed the border.

“We noticed a few suspicious cars driving around the road and after a few hours of activity, using advanced means and special technologies, we spotted the suspect cross the Israeli border into Jordan and, a few hours later, we saw the suspect cross back into Israel with a bag on his back,” the commander of the Border Police unit said in a statement.

“At that point, I ordered troops to arrest the suspect and the suspects that were in the cars. In the bag, we found 37 pistols of different types and thus we succeeded in thwarting the smuggling,” he said.

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