Israel halts diving suit shipment to Gaza
Israeli security services suspected that the alleged smuggling of diving suits to the Strip was initiated by the Hamas terrorist group in order to build up the organization’s naval forces, the Times of Israel reports.
Shin Bet, Israel's internal security agency, believes the materials were meant for Gaza-based terrorist groups. The shipment was intercepted at the Nitzana customs terminal, on the border with Gaza, at the start of May, authorities said, adding that it was the latest in a “series of attempts to smuggle weapons and equipment to the Gaza Strip.”
The video on the right, leaked by the Isreali Defence, shows an infiltration from the sea occurred on July 8, a kilometer north of the Gaza-Israel border. Four Hamas divers were ultimately killed in the aborted infiltration attempt.
According to an import document, the shipment was supposed to contain sportswear, but a thorough examination by custom workers at the border crossing between Egypt and Israel, revealed that the shipment actually contained 40 diving suits. Bringing diving suits into Gaza requires a special permit, which this specific shipment hadn't attained, the Israeli news site Arutz Sheva reports.
Israeli security forces believe Hamas is attempting to establish a Naval Force, which would include commandos designated to carry our terror operations against Israeli targets. Such a tactic was used last summer during Operation Protective Edge, when four divers came ashore on Israeli territory in order to attack security forces and civilians.