Israel Foiled Hamas Attempt to Smuggle Materials for Missiles Into Gaza, Army Says

According to IDF statement, two Palestinian vessels were seized trying to reach Egypt to obtain materials to manufacture projectiles last month

Fishing boats carrying a group of Palestinian activists who are protesting and perhaps trying to breach Israel's naval blockade on Gaza, setting to sail from Gaza City harbour, May 29, 2018.
MAHMUD HAMS/AFP

The Israeli army said Friday it foiled an attempt by Hamas to smuggle materials to manufacture projectiles into the Gaza Strip last month.

According to the Israel Defense Forces statement, on May 11, two Palestinian vessels entered a restricted area on the southern Strip while violating security protocols, which prompted their seizure, and the arrest of four suspects who were transferred for investigation by security forces.

A Shin Bet probe revealed the suspects were headed toward the Sinai coast in Egypt as part of an attempt to smuggle contraband, the statement said, including 24 barrels of fiberglass, which Hamas uses to make projectiles.

The suspects were charged with being members of Hamas, conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, attempting to aid and abet a terror organization and several other offenses.