Israeli security forces over the last 18 months have confiscated more than 200 kilograms of illicit drugs being smuggled across the Lebanese border, according to Israel Defense Forces documents released on Sunday.
IDF troops and the Israel Police officers have intercepted 188.6kg of heroine, 10kg of cocaine and 34g of hashish, according to IDF documents revealed on Sunday.
IDF Northern Command documents indicate that 22 Lebanon-to-Israel drug-smuggling attempts were halted since the beginning of 2008. Twenty-nine people were arrested as result of these interceptions, and a total of $950,000 seized.
In one of those attempts, a smuggle even opened fire on pursuing IDF soldiers. There were also two smuggling attempts reported at the Israel-Syria border.
Surveillance material shows money bags being thrown from Israel over the Lebanese border, and drug packages hurled in return.
The video clips shows IDF soldiers in pursuit of a squad of three smugglers, as well as the arrest of one of the crewmembers. The other two were later apprehended by an ambush placed along their escape route.
The clips also show drug smugglers sweeping the border fence in an attempt to locate potential spots for exchange. The films also show the distance at which the Israeli smugglers hurled their money bags over to the Lebanese side.
IDF Northern Command said that while smugglings may not have been treated with the utmost earnestness in the past, a change in policy has brought increased efforts at the border.
"Besides the fact that these smugglings represent an attempt by Hezbollah to flood Israel with narcotics, the organization also views these missions as ways to feel how breached the border is," the army said.
IDF Major General Shimon Koren, commander of the police's northern district, said in the policy's summary of 2008 that there were no smuggling attempts over Israel's border with Syria prior to the two reported last year.
While Syria is showing signs of attempting to block any illegal traffic on its borders, Koren said, no such attempts are visible on the Lebanese side.
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