Israel seizes explosives headed to Gaza hidden in shipment of medical equipment


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli officials at the Kerem Shalom crossing thwarted an attempt to smuggle explosives into the Gaza Strip in a shipment of medical equipment.

The seized materials were identified as a central component used in the preparation of explosive charges and in the high-trajectory industry in the Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement issued on Sunday. The materials were intercepted sometime last week, according to the statement.

The laboratory for substance identification was set up several months ago at the Kerem Shalom crossing, according to the ministry. Using advanced equipment, the lab tests a wide range of materials, from gases, liquids, powders, solids, metals and others before they enter Gaza.

The laboratory is a joint project of the Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority, the Israel Security Agency, and Israel Police Crossing Department of the Israel Police. It is charged with identifying the type of material within as short a time frame as possible from the point of sampling.

Kerem Shalom is the only commercial crossing between Israel and Gaza.

Dozens of smuggling attempts were foiled by Kerem Shalom Crossing Authority employees during 2017, according to the statement.

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