Fiberglass said destined for Gaza rockets intercepted at Egypt border
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Fiberglass said destined for Gaza rockets intercepted at Egypt border

Tax and security agents thwart bid to smuggle rolls of material from Egypt through Israel, heading to Strip

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: The Israel-Gaza border, from the Israeli side, with rockets being fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip into Israel, August 20, 2014. (Albert Sadikov/Flash90)
Illustrative: The Israel-Gaza border, from the Israeli side, with rockets being fired by Palestinian terrorists from the Gaza Strip into Israel, August 20, 2014. (Albert Sadikov/Flash90)

Israeli authorities intercepted a shipment of fiberglass incoming from Egypt earlier this month they say was intended for use by terror groups in the Gaza Strip to build rockets, officials said Monday.

The attempt to smuggle the two tons of tubing into the Strip from Egypt via Israel was foiled by the Shin Bet security service and customs officials, according to a statement released by the Tax Authority.

A gag order on details of the case was lifted on Monday.

The Shin Bet said it believes the fiberglass was intended for use by terror groups in Gaza in the manufacture of long-range rockets.

Tax workers at the Nitzana crossing between Egypt and Israel became suspicious of the shipment, which was ordered by a Gaza-based importer and labeled as containing clothes and materials.

After opening the shipment for a closer look, tax officials discovered the rolls of fiberglass hidden inside.

“Terror groups in the Gaza Strip are taking advantage of every means possible in their attempts to rebuild,” the Shin Bet said in the statement. “Even smuggling basic materials for the terror industry by hiding them in humanitarian equipment.”

Smuggled rolls of fiberglass, heading for the Gaza Strip, that were intercepted by the Shin Bet and the Tax Authority at the beginning of August, 2015. (Tax Authority)
Smuggled rolls of fiberglass, heading for the Gaza Strip, that were intercepted by the Shin Bet and the Tax Authority at the beginning of August, 2015. (Tax Authority)

The tax authority said that last week it also stopped a shipment of fiberglass at the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel into Gaza that was labeled as containing school equipment.

Legal procedures will be taken against the smugglers, according to the statement.

Since the beginning of the year the Tax Authority and Shin Bet have intercepted dozens of attempts to smuggle banned substances into Gaza that were suspected to be heading for the terror groups in Gaza.

Among the shipments seized were diving suits, polyurethane rocket propellant and carbon and sulfur rods for blast furnaces used in metal work, according to the statement.

During last summer’s 50-day conflict as the IDF battled against Hamas-led Palestinian militia groups, Palestinians fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns and cities including some fiberglass rockets that hit the Palmahim area, some 45 kilometers north of the Strip.

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