Gaza vehicle-smugglers ring exposed

Security forces arrest smugglers involved in transporting off-road vehicles into Gaza for Hamas use.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Off-road vehicle. Illustration
Off-road vehicle. Illustration
Photo: Haim Azulay/Flash 90

In a joint operation of the Shin Bet, the Israel police, and the Defense Ministry crossings directorate, a network of vehicle smugglers has been exposed. The smugglers were illegally transporting off-road vehicles from Israeli territory to Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing over a long period of time.

The ring smuggled more than 100 vehicles for Hamas use in Gaza in 2016. The main culprits in the activities are three residents of the Bedouin town of Segev Shalom in the Negev: Said Mutzlah, Faris Mutzlah, and Noah Mutzlah.

They would take the vehicles apart and hide the parts in shipments going into the Gaza Strip, while tricking the truck-drivers into helping them when they couldn't find any who would cooperate willingly.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that the suspects were aware of the fact that they were working for elements within Hamas.

Off-road vehicle parts were found in trucks going into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, alerting the Shin Bet to a possible smuggling operation.

These methods didn't surprise the security forces, who have grown accustomed to finding more and more proof of Hamas' creative efforts to increase its power. Intelligence sources report that the vehicles are intended for use by the Hamas military wing, after reassembly in Gaza.

A large amount of additional equipment earmarked for smuggling into Gaza was found in the investigation. The three aforementioned suspects have been arrested, and the investigation is ongoing.