Israel Investigating Potential Hezbollah Involvement in Lebanon Border Weapons Bust

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The confiscated guns.
The confiscated guns.Credit: Israel Police Spokesperson's Unit

The Israeli military and police said they thwarted an attempt overnight into Saturday to smuggle weapons and ammunition from Lebanon into Israel from Lebanon.

A joint statement by the two agencies said they were investigating whether Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah was involved in the smuggling attempt.

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Forces near the village of Ghajar, on Israel's northern border, seized 43 handguns and some ammunition, in what police has described as the largest bust of weapons in years. Police assess the value of the seized weapons at 2.7 million shekels (about $830,000).

The army said that it had identified the smugglers using various surveillance measures, and officers from the police's Northern District foiled their operation.

Israel has thwarted over 12 weapons smuggling attempts along the Lebanese border this yea, seizing more than 100 weapons overall.

Last month, the Northern District's border patrol unit arrested a resident of Ein Qiniyye, a village in the Golan Heights not far from the Lebanese border, on suspicion of trying to smuggle 12 handguns into Israel. He was apprehended in an agricultural area near the border town of Metulah.

Earlier this month, police officers arrested a 26-year-old Ghajar resident on suspicion of involvement in the smuggling of 11 kilograms  (24 pounds) of hashish from Lebanon.

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