Israel seizes armor plating being smuggled into Gaza
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Israel seizes armor plating being smuggled into Gaza

Border staff find bulletproof sheets of metal hidden in a shipment of car parts at Kerem Shalom crossing

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A Defense Ministry employee discovers bulletproof plating in a shipment of car parts on its way to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing on December 29, 2015. (Defense Ministry)
A Defense Ministry employee discovers bulletproof plating in a shipment of car parts on its way to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing on December 29, 2015. (Defense Ministry)

Border officials this week thwarted an attempt to smuggle armor plating into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

An Israeli truck hauling spare car parts aroused the suspicion of workers in the Defense Ministry’s Border Crossing Authority, according to a statement.

When they examined the truck, authorities found several bulletproof plates, which could have been used to fortify terrorist strongholds in Gaza. This was the first time the border crossing authority has discovered an attempt to smuggle armor into the Strip, the ministry said.

The Defense Ministry does not yet know who is responsible for the smuggling attempt. The Israel Police, Shin Bet, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories’ unit (COGAT), the Customs Authority and Border Crossing Authority have opened an investigation into the matter, according to the Defense Minsitry’s statement.

Bulletproof plating discovered by the Defense Ministry in a shipment of car parts on its way to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing on December 29, 2015. (Defense Ministry Crossing Authority)
Bulletproof plating discovered by the Defense Ministry in a shipment of car parts on its way to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing on December 29, 2015. (Defense Ministry Crossing Authority)

Kerem Shalom is one of two crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Kerem Shalom is located on the southern tip of the Strip, next to the Egyptian border. The Erez Crossing is located at the northern end.

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

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