Terror attack foiled at Karni crossing

Six kilograms of high-grade explosives bound for West Bank impounded.

October 26, 2006 00:34
3 minute read.
karni cargo 298.88

karni cargo 298.88. (photo credit: Channel 1)

Tipped off by intelligence communications, the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Services) and police foiled a terrorist attack inside Israel this week by preventing Gaza-based terrorists from smuggling explosives through the Karni goods crossing, the IDF released for publication on Wednesday. The Popular Resistance Committees is believed to be behind this latest attempt to smuggle six kilograms of high-grade explosive material through the crossing, the IDF disclosed. The TNT was destined for Tulkarm, and believed to have been intended for an attack against a target in the heart of Israel. Security officials detained and later released three Arab taxi drivers after it was ascertained that they were unaware of the nature of the cargo. A Tulkarm man who IDF officials said was to receive the explosives was arrested by security forces. A laborer at the crossing from Gaza City assisted the smugglers, the Army Radio reported. The Karni crossing has closed several times since the disengagement due to intelligence of impending attacks on the vital food and supply conduit to the impoverished Palestinian territory. The crossing's closing incurred the wrath of European and Arab countries. At Karni, transactions are conducted through large holes in the towering reinforced wall that separates Israeli and Arab traders. Grain is moved in conveyor belts fed through gaps,and fuels and other liquids are pumped through nozzles on either side with the drivers never seeing one another. All Palestinian cargo passes through large x-ray machines manned by Israeli Airports Authority personnel. Kassam missiles frequently fly over the crossing, guarded by rifle toting private security guards. The 15-meter wall is lined on the Israeli side by warehouses. Israeli drivers drop their cargo inside the warehouses, which are then closed allowing Palestinian laborers to enter through the wall, which is then opened by remote control by operators manning cameras that scan the cargo holds on the Palestinian side. Numerous suicide bombs, rifles, and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been uncovered in cargo passing through terminal. Four times in the last two years Palestinians drove explosives-laden vehicles into the Palestinian side of the crossing, with intentions to blow a hole in the wall. Cars teeming with gunmen followed the car bombs intent on breaking through the hole and massacring the Israeli staff at the crossing. Twice, they were turned back by the Palestinian security forces. A third time, an IAF airstrike destroyed a vehicle as it approached the terminal. The terrorists succeeded on January 13, 2005 when three terrorists from the Popular Resistance Committees, Hamas, and Fatah infiltrated into the compound through a hole blasted in the wall, murdered six workers, and wounded five others, before being gunned down by the security guards employed by the Airport's Authority. In June 2004, two suicide bombers hidden behind a false wall in a storage container passed through the crossing and reached the port of Ashdod, where they exploded in crowds of port employees, killing ten and wounded twelve others. Karni, a concrete monstrosity in the sands less than five kilometers from the outskirts of Gaza City has been closed several times since Israel's withdrawal in August 2005 due to intelligence of terrorists seeking to bomb or infiltrate the terminal using terror tunnels, as they did in December 2004. Five soldiers from the Beduin Desert Battalion were killed and six more wounded when a tunnel filled with explosives blew up underneath the side of an IDF post near the Rafah terminal. IDF troops have discovered two tunnels being dug to assault the crossing, the last on August 30. On Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz said an "underground city was being dug under the Gaza Strip," and some 100 tunnels are thought to crisscross the Gaza-Egypt border, flooding the PA territory with tons of explosives, anti-tank missiles, rifles and ammunition.

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