Committee: Drugs and terror connected

Border Police say Hizbullah "dictates which drugs are smuggled into Israel and when."

marijuana leaf 88 (photo credit: )
marijuana leaf 88
(photo credit: )
The Committee for the War Against Drugs held a meeting Tuesday on the connection between drugs and terrorism. Northern Border Police Capt. Avi Elgrisi reported that between 25 and 40 kilograms of hashish were being smuggled into Israel daily through the northern border, amounting to about 10-14 tons per year - and that was just the amount Israel knew about. According to Lt.-Col. Ehud Mussan of the northern Border Guard, "Hizbullah is in complete control and dictates which drugs are smuggled into Israel and when." Elgrisi said border police were doing all they could, but even so, they have only managed to catch about five to 10 percent of the drugs smuggled into the country. In particular, the northern village of Mughar - half of which is in Lebanon - causes a lot of trouble at the border, Elgrisi said, since the drug industry has a good spy network and manages to get through. Avshalom Peled of the southern Border Police said the situation in the south was even more dire because of an approximately 220-km area of completely unprotected land and its impoverished population. Foreign workers and female sex workers are often smuggled across this border, as well. As in the north, border police have only caught between five and ten percent of drug traffic. Since October 2005 - just after the disengagement - police have seen a drastic increase in terrorist activity around the southern border. According to Peled, there are two types of terrorist activities that come out of Gaza: intelligence trading, and drugs and weapons trading. Peled called the latter category "narcoterrorism," and said it was difficult to combat since the south had no fence, and therefore no indication of where the borders were being infiltrated. Peled said the best thing Israel could do to stop drug trafficking was build a fence around Eilat, since the city is easily infiltrated from the Sinai and a popular point for smuggling drugs and weapons across the border.