Military Police soldiers thwart repeated attempts to illegally smuggle spoiled food products at crossings in Judea and Samaria by a network of Palestinian smugglers
The Military Police Erez battalion stationed at crossings in Judea and Samaria and the Jerusalem region has recently encountered a new trend of illegal activity- attempts to smuggle spoiled meat and egg products that might cause a "sanitary terror attack".
Most illegal activity in the region takes place at vehicle crossings. "Time and time again we see illegal activity at the crossings, and the Palestinian find new, creative ways to do so," said commander of the Erez battalion, Lt. Col. Yuval Shinkin.
Soldiers stationed at the crossings are familiar with the different smuggling activity, though this is a new trend they are not familiar with. Palestinian smugglers attempt to smuggle tons of inedible meat and eggs, kept with no observation or monitoring. About a week ago a truck carrying 1,000 packages of eggs to be smuggled from Judea and Samaria and sold in Israel was captured.
"These eggs were left with no sanitary inspection and smuggling them could have become a terror attack against the health of Israelis," explained Lt. Col. Shinkin. Sources from the battalion attribute the smuggling attempt to a wide network of smugglers rather than individual ones. "A private person could have smuggled a few packages, though these attempts are of larger quantities. Additionally the vehicles used are equipped with hidden compartments such as a double floor and a double roof, in order to conceal the activity. These facts indicate activity by a network of smugglers rather than individuals," he added.
Lt. Col. Shinkin points out an additional trend of illegal activity recently seen at the crossings, where Palestinians attempt to smuggle cooking gas. "It is much cheaper to fill up gas tanks in Judea and Samaria or to smuggle empty ones. The smuggled gas containers weren’t under inspection, and thus are a serious hazard. If such a smuggling attempt is successful- they might explode and cause significant damage," explained Lt. Col. Shinkin.
This illegal activity, where goods that can be purchased in Judea and Samaria are smuggled into Israel, might develop into malicious terror activity against Israeli civilians. "The routes used for the illegal smuggling create a platform for illegal terror activity as we've seen in the past," said Lt. Col. Shinkin. Thus battling illegal smuggling, locating them and preventing them, is extremely important. "Today goods are being smuggled and tomorrow explosives and terrorists might be brought into Israel via these same routes. We thus make sure to combat these trends daily," he added.