(photo credit: IDF)
It took seven years, but the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has finally put a stop to one of the more ironic aspects on Israel's war on terror: Kassam rockets made of Israeli metal.
A Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who worked as a metal merchant at the Karni crossing between Israel and the Strip was arrested by the Shin Bet last month for allegedly selling pipes he bought in Israel to terrorist groups that used them to manufacture Kassams, it was released for publication on Sunday.
On February 9, the Shin Bet arrested Amar Azk, 37. During his interrogation, he confessed selling the pipes to Hamas and other terrorist organizations that manufactured Kassam rockets, fired almost daily at Israel. The Shin Bet said Azk's activities began with the start of the second intifada in 2000 and were only brought to a halt by his arrest. The agency could not say how much metal Azk traded, except that it was "significant."
The pipes that were sold to Zak were intended for the construction of a sewage system in Gaza.
The Shin Bet has been unable to determine the amount of metal that actually made its way to the terror organizations, and how much went to the sewage project.
The Shin Bet arrested Azk after it received numerous reports last year that hollow pipes made in Israel were being used to manufacture Kassam rockets and shoulder-launched missiles.
The Shin Bet found that most of the raw materials used to manufacture Kassams came from Israel. The Israeli companies, the security service said, were used by the terrorist groups without their knowledge. As such, the Shin Bet refused to divulge the names of the firms.
In November 2006, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant issued an order forbidding the sale of hollow pipes of certain sizes to the Gaza Strip.
In 2006, 1,700 rockets were fired from Gaza.