Electric motors uncovered by security forces at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY/OVERLAND CROSSING AUTHORITY)
Security forces at the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and Gaza on Thursday thwarted an alleged attempt to smuggle machinery to Hamas officials in the coastal enclave, the Defense Ministry announced.
Authorities at the border crossing uncovered various electric motors hidden inside refrigerators and washing machines being delivered on an Israeli truck, according to a statement from the ministry.
Security forces discovered the motors during searches after the contents aboard the vehicle sparked their suspicion.
According to one suspect, the delivery of what the ministry said were special electric motors were intended to bolster the infrastructure of Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip.
Security officials confiscated the devices during the operation that was jointly conducted by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel Tax Authority and the Defense Ministry's Overland Crossing Authority.
Israel has maintained a blockade on the Gaza Strip since Hamas took power in 2007 in order to monitor the import of equipment and building materials that Israel fears could be used for weapons and terrorist infrastructure.