Death by chocolate? Customs holds dual use parts of chocolate mixer

Customs agents at the Ashdod port were surprised to find a suspicious package of ball bearings in an industrial chocolate mixer from Turkey.

Chocolate (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Chocolate may really be the devil's food, the Israel Tax Authority discovered on Thursday.
While inspecting a shipment from Turkey headed to Gaza through the Ashdod port, the authority found a suspicious package of ball bearings in an industrial chocolate mixer.
Oslo era agreements commit Israeli customs to inspect incoming goods for both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but certain dual use items--which could be used for both civilian and military purposes--are restricted.
For fear that the ball bearings could be used in bombs, the customs authority held the shipment. Upon further investigation, they discovered that some confection mixers do, indeed, use ball bearings in their mixing process. As a result, they let the shipment through, but held on to the ball bearings.
The ships origins in Turkey likely flagged it for closer inspection. Turkey has been a central backer of Hamas in the conflict, and Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan has compared Israeli military action in Gaza to Nazism.
There have also been reports of a second Turkish flotilla of ships headed to Gaza, following a 2010 flotilla that caused international outcry when Israel's attempts to halt the ships resulted in the deaths of nine people. Israel has reportedly agreed to let Turkey send aid through its other ports in exchange for it halting the second flotilla.