Israel intercepts Gaza-bound shipment of commando knives
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Israel intercepts Gaza-bound shipment of commando knives

Border guards at crossing seize professional-grade blades concealed among tools, Defense Ministry says

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A smuggled shipment of commando knives intercepted by Israeli officials at the Kerem Shalom Border Crossing between Israel and Gaza on August 9, 2016 (Defense Ministry Crossing Authority)
A smuggled shipment of commando knives intercepted by Israeli officials at the Kerem Shalom Border Crossing between Israel and Gaza on August 9, 2016 (Defense Ministry Crossing Authority)

Israeli security personnel at the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the southern Gaza Strip earlier this week foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of commando knives into the Palestinian enclave, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

During a search of a vehicle, Defense Ministry guards and Shin Bet operatives uncovered two boxes containing professional-grade 30-centimeter (12-inch) commando knives hidden in a shipment of tools.

Officials also recently intercepted a shipment destined for the Palestinian electric company in Gaza containing concealed graphite strips, the Government Press Office said in a statement, noting the raw material is often used to make rocket fuel.

The knives and graphite were confiscated, and Israeli security services have launched investigations into both smuggling attempts.

One of a smuggled shipment of commando knives intercepted by Israeli officials at the Kerem Shalom Crossing between Israel and Gaza on August 9, 2016 (photo credit: Defense Ministry Crossing Authority)
One of a smuggled shipment of commando knives intercepted by Israeli officials at the Kerem Shalom Crossing between Israel and Gaza on August 9, 2016 (Defense Ministry Crossing Authority)

Israel maintains tight control on the import to the Gaza Strip of electronics and other equipment it says could be used to carry out attacks against Israeli targets.

In recent months, Kerem Shalom guards and Shin Bet operatives have seized concealed shipments to Gaza containing drones, explosive-making materials, rocket- and tunnel-building equipment, and a number of wet suits concealed inside crates of sports gear, which the Defense Ministry at the time said could be to used in a seaborne attack against Israel.

Last month, the Defense Ministry said its guards seized an unusually large shipment of electronic and surveillance equipment at the Erez crossing along the northern Israel-Gaza border.

Among the items were a dozen small unmanned aerial vehicles and components, security cameras, satellite communications equipment, surveillance cameras, packages of motion sensors, binoculars, laser pointers for weapons, communications equipment and electronic boards, tasers, weapons components, diving watches equipped with flashlights, flippers, miniature cameras, GoPro cameras, DVR cameras, and other banned electronic components.

Hundreds of trucks delivering food, aid and other goods pass through the Kerem Shalom Crossing into the Strip every day.

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