Israel Stops Truck Laden With Explosive Materials at Gaza Crossing

New Israeli laboratory is meant to stop such materials from reaching terrorists, the head of the Border Crossing Authority says

Eliyahu Hershkovitz

The security authorities recently stopped smugglers from bringing tons of explosives from Israel into Gaza, the Defense Ministry’s Border Crossing Authority said Wednesday after a gag order on the matter was lifted.

A truck laden with fluids ostensibly for vehicles stirred suspicion among the guards at the Kerem Shalom crossing near the Egyptian border. Samples of the fluids were sent for lab testing and proved to be a precursor of explosives.

The incident highlights the work of the new laboratory set up by the Border Crossing Authority, the wider Defense Ministry, the Shin Bet security service and the police. The lab can test a wide range of substances in all states – gas, liquids and solids, including powders and metals – before they are allowed into Gaza.

The lab’s capacity to operate quickly, from sampling to result, is expected to reduce waiting times at the crossing for goods into Gaza.

“The materials laboratory greatly expands the toolbox in the hands of the security forces in their daily and uncompromising struggle against smuggling into the Gaza Strip,” said Kamil Abu Rokon, the head of the Border Crossing Authority.

He said the lab augmented the abilities of the most vital resource – the guards at the checkpoints. The lab can detect any hazardous substance that terrorists might want, he said.