Buy for 3,000, sell for 35,000: the smugglers at the borders abandoned the drugs and moved to war weapons. The field of smuggling weapons has become particularly sought after by Israeli criminals. This year alone, more than 450 weapons were seized at the borders – more than three times as many as in 2021. To bring the weapons into Israel, the criminals use the drug smuggling routes.
The police: “Iran and Hezbollah have a desire to arm the Israeli Arabs”. The four members of the Haiv family – Moamen (20), Yazid (25), Malek (35) and Nimer (41) – from the village of Tuba Zangaria in the Upper Galilee, were known to the police mainly in the area of burglaries and property crimes, but when they were caught last week, after they smuggled 20 guns from the Lebanese border , it was clear that they also became part of the Israeli criminals who convert, or at least turn their eyes to a more profitable income – smuggling weapons.
More than 450 weapons, including hundreds of weapons and grenades, were seized in thwarted smuggling from the borders with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. This is an amount that is more than three times the amount of weapons seized at the borders in the whole of 2021. On the other hand, in the ambushes of the unit’s fighters, 80 kilograms of hashish were seized this year compared to 92 kilograms last year.
“Today we are seizing more weapons than drugs,” explained Chief Inspector Oshri Amor, commander of Yigal North. “We are seeing how the smuggling routes that have been known to us for years as designated routes for drug smuggling are being used to cross the border. The profit potential in the field of ammunition is large and significant. You can buy a gun for 3,000 shekels in Lebanon or Syria, and sell it in Israel or the territories for 35,000 shekels or more. That’s a huge profit. On 30 guns, that’s a profit of almost a million shekels.”
Despite the efforts of the police to fight the phenomenon of illegal gun possession, it seems that the fight is almost hopeless. Since the beginning of the year, the police districts in Israel have managed to seize more than 3,500 weapons, and this is only a fraction of the arsenal that is disposed of in backyards, attics and underground.
According to Rector Amor, the demand for weapons is increasing both among Israeli Arabs and in the territories: “You can see what is happening in Nablus and Jenin, where there is crazy shooting and arming. Iosh is also filled with weapons from the Jordanian border, which is relatively open. Many of the weapons whose smuggling we thwarted were caught there in the past year. On the other hand, there is a very significant increase in these weapons inside the country as well, and this is a worrying phenomenon.”
Also in February of this year, when a huge smuggling of 53 weapons was thwarted at the Lebanese border, three residents of Tuba Zangaria were arrested, who until then had not been involved in smuggling illegal weapons. of the IDF,” described Rector Amor, “and we also see a growing involvement not only of residents of territories, but also of Israeli criminals.”
The weapons that the military and police forces are unable to prevent from entering Israel make their way, it turns out, not only to criminal elements or criminals. “The circle of demand also expands to normal citizens who lose faith in the system and want to have a means of protection,” explained Corporal Amor.
According to Rabbi Amor, Hezbollah and Iran have a significant interest in promoting and assisting in the development of weapons smuggling routes to Israel. and burning tires and cans, we may also hear about incidents of shooting towards policemen and concentrations of our forces. Therefore, alongside the police operations to collect as much illegal drugs as possible inside the country, we must continue the effort to thwart as much smuggling as possible at the borders.”
December 19, 2022 Published by The Ynet Israel News.