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Security forces foil gun smuggling from Lebanon masked as agricultural work

Resident of a Druze village found with 12 pistols in a tractor in a field near Metula; police say 80 weapons confiscated in such attempts on the northern border this year

Israeli security forces foil an attempted weapons smuggling on the border with Lebanon, on June 18, 2021. (Israel Police)
Israeli security forces foil an attempted weapons smuggling on the border with Lebanon, on June 18, 2021. (Israel Police)

Israeli troops foiled an attempt to smuggle weapons from Lebanon into northern Israel on Friday, arresting a suspect and seizing guns, the police said.

According to the police, a resident of Ein Qiniyye, a Druze village in the Golan Heights, was arrested in a field near the town of Metula, adjacent to the border with Lebanon, as he was attempting to smuggle the supply of weapons in a tractor, under the guise of agricultural activity.

In the tractor the suspect was driving, 12 pistols, worth around half a million shekels ($140,000), were found and seized, according to the statement.

The operation was conducted in coordination with Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Twelve attempted weapon smuggling attempts were thwarted along the northern border since the beginning of 2021, and some 80 rifles and pistols were confiscated, according to the police.

Israeli security forces foil an attempted weapons smuggling on the border with Lebanon, on June 18, 2021. (Israel Police)

On Monday, an Israeli soldier was moderately wounded from friendly fire while preventing a gun-smuggling attempt on the Jordanian border. Twenty-one guns, including several assault rifles, as well as ammunition were seized.

Last Saturday, Israeli troops foiled an attempted weapons sale in the Jordan Valley. Nine pistols and two rifles were confiscated, and two suspects were arrested.

Earlier this month, Israeli security forces arrested an Arab Israeli father and son suspected of smuggling a large amount of hashish and firearms into Israel from Lebanon, potentially on behalf of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to the military.

Hezbollah has long maintained control over the area adjacent to the border with Israel and is unlikely to have been unaware of such smuggling operations.

The terror group is known to fund its activities through drug sales around the world, including producing large amounts of hashish in eastern Lebanon.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

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