The Defense Ministry announced on Friday that a massive weapons smuggling attempt from Israel into the northern West Bank was thwarted.
According to a ministry statement, two Israeli citizens from the northern region of Wadi Ara arrived at the Israeli side of the Reihan Crossing and aroused the suspicion of Border Crossing Authority security guards there.
After being told to pull over, officers began searching their vehicle, when they found four Israeli ammunition boxes containing some 4,000 5.56mm rounds, which the pair were suspected of intending to smuggle into the West Bank.
Security forces confiscated the ammunition and the two were taken into custody for further questioning.
Tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months, against a backdrop of terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank, some of them carried out by terrorists from the Jenin area, that have left 19 dead since March 22.
According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, 31 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops since late March. Some committed violent terror attacks, others participated in clashes with soldiers, while some appeared to have been unarmed bystanders.
The Israeli army stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence, as well as working to thwart smuggling attempts across all its frontiers.
Authorities have also increasingly sought to crack down on the unmitigated spread of illegal weapons in the Arab Israeli community, which have been used to carry out record-breaking numbers of murders in recent years.
According to the Abraham Initiatives, a non-government group lobbying against violence in the Arab community, 125 Arabs were killed in Israel last year in community violence — an all-time record. Since the beginning of 2022, another 31 have been killed in incidents of violent crime.