Shipment of weapons bound for eastern Jerusalem intercepted


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A shipment of knives, swords, fireworks and Tasers bound for eastern Jerusalem was intercepted by Israel Police.

Police seized the two containers of weapons last week addressed to residents of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, which has a large population of Christian Arabs. They were labeled as Christmas decorations; the weapons were hidden among the decorations.

A gag order on the seizure was lifted Thursday.

The shipment, which had arrived from China at the Ashdod Port in southern Israel, was removed to a storehouse in Afula, according to reports.

Three Israeli Arabs picked up the containers. They were arrested, along with their two drivers.

The containers held 18,000 fireworks of a caliber that is restricted in Israel; 5,200 commando knives; 4,300 flashlights that can be used as Tasers; 5,500 Tasers; and 1,000 swords, according to police.

Rioters in eastern Jerusalem have caused serious injuries with fireworks fired at police and security forces.

On Tuesday, the Knesset Economics Committee approved a three-month ban on the import of fireworks due to their use as weapons.

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