Customs agents working with the Shin Bet security agency have thwarted four attempts in recent months to smuggle weapons components into Gaza through the Nitzana border crossing in southern Israel, the Israeli Tax Authority said.
According to a statement posted on the Tax Authority’s website, banned products of various kinds, including components needed for the production of weapons, were seized at the Israel-Egypt border crossing four times over the past few months.
The Shin Bet believes the materials were meant for Gaza-based terrorist groups. The latest seizure took place two weeks ago, when 1,200 tubes of polyurethane were discovered hidden in a Gaza-bound silicone shipment. Mixed with other components, polyurethane acts as a catalyst and can be used as rocket propellant. Israel does not allow shipments of the polymer into Gaza.
Two similar smuggling attempts were foiled in February, when a hardening polymer that can be used in rocket production was discovered hidden in a shipment of paint cans. During an inspection of a dry foods delivery to Gaza in March, Customs agents found 440 pounds of crude sulfur rods hidden in food crates. Sulfur is used in weapons production.