Security forces have seized an estimated 300 weapons on the Jordanian and Egyptian borders this year, a report released on Sunday said.
In addition, more than 2,100 kg. of drugs (over 4,600 lbs.) have been seized along the borders.
How did Israeli security forces do it?
The drug haul, worth around NIS 135 million, involved 40 thwarted smuggling attempts. In addition, 18 thwarted attempts to smuggle ammunition across the Jordanian border resulted in the seizure of some 300 weapons.
An IDF statement said these numbers “reflect an increase in the scope of the attempts to smuggle drugs and weapons into Israeli territory, alongside a significant increase in the scope of countermeasures.
"Our forces will continue to act sharply and precisely to maintain the security of the residents of the south, alongside continuing to strengthen the necessary partnership with other security bodies in the region."Lt.-Col. Ido Saad
“Our forces will continue to act... to maintain the security of the residents of the south, alongside strengthening the necessary partnership with other security bodies in the region.”
In all of 2020, NIS 150m. worth of drugs were seized, and in 2021, NIS 209m.
The number of weapon-smuggling operations thwarted by Israel has risen significantly, from eight in 2020 to 13 in 2021, and 18 in the first eight months of 2022 alone.
Speaking about the IDF’s success in stopping the smuggling operations, Faran Brigade Commander Lt.-Col. Ido Saad said, “The mission of our forces is to protect the borders.... The soldiers work every night to thwart attempts to smuggle drugs and ammunition across the border and in doing so, they choke the economic engine of crime in the Negev. Our forces will continue to act... with other security bodies in the region.”
Over the past year, Israel’s Central and Southern commands have established joint military units encompassing IDF troops, police, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operatives and other entities, to combat smugglers. The units work to produce accurate intelligence pictures in real-time and to formulate a unified operative response to smuggling attempts.
Regional Brigade Commander Lt.-Col. Itamar Dashel said he was “proud of the forces operating in the sector who make it possible to preserve stability in a space where silence is deceptive.”
On Sunday afternoon, IDF soldiers and police thwarted another illegal weapons-smuggling operation when an IDF surveillance team identified a suspect in the Jordan Valley. Alerted soldiers arrived at the location and arrested the suspect, who carried two illegally acquired guns.