The IDF has thwarted over 1,000 attempts in recent months to smuggle mail packages into the Gaza Strip containing dual-use products terrorist organizations intended to use against Israel, the Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported.
The items identified by staff of the postal inspection facility at the Beitunia crossing in the West Bank included drones, radio devices, frequency jammers and listening equipment. The facility serves as a checkpoint for deliveries sent to Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and destinations abroad.
While the deliveries were not weapons, they were considered dual-use items that could be utilized for terror purposes.
"We take very seriously any attempt to take advantage of the civilian medium of mail deliveries to deliver dual-use items that could harm the security of the State of Israel and its citizens," the head of the Civil Administration, Brig.-Gen. Fares Atila, said.
The smuggling of dual-use products into the Gaza Strip is a danger that Defense Minister Benny Gantz discussed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of Operation Guardian of the Walls, with the allowance of humanitarian aid shipments bringing items that could have both civilian and military functions.
“I’m not naïve; some of the materials we let in will go to Hamas,” Gantz said in a briefing. “In the end, it’s complicated. You need cement to build, and some of it goes to the terror tunnels," Gantz said, admitting that it would be impossible to completely stop Hamas from confiscating some of the reconstruction materials and diverting them for military use.
However, Atila asserted that the Communications Headquarters Unit would continue working to prevent the mail delivery of such smuggled equipment that could pose a danger to Israel.
During Operation Guardian of the Walls, dual-use items shipped into Gaza included gold that was shaped into nails and hidden within wooden pallets, potassium chloride, glycerin, polyurethane, polyester, fiberglass and communications equipment.
Lahav Harkov and Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.