You think of the Gaza Strip as the most impoverished piece of real estate on the planet. At least that’s how the media likes to portray it. But one thing Gaza does apparently have is plenty of cash (or in this case, gold) to fund terrorist activities.
Israeli authorities last week were successful in thwarting a creative attempt to smuggle gold bars out of the Gaza Strip. It is believed that the gold was intended for terrorist elements in Judea and Samaria, the so-called “West Bank.”
Security inspectors at the Kerem-Shalom Crossing found 13 gold bars hidden inside boxes of tomatoes being exported from Gaza to the Palestinian Authority-controlled territories.
The bars, weighing a total of 7 kilograms (15.43 lbs.), were found during a routing security check. There was no report of any specific intelligence regarding the smuggling effort. The crates of vegetables had a double cardboard bottom, and there the gold bars were hidden, painted black to disguise them, and the edges were hidden in large tomatoes.
The gold was confiscated, and the investigation was handed over to the police and the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) to try and locate the intended recipient of the treasure. The leading theory is that the gold was destined for Hamas terrorist elements in Judea and Samaria.
Israel’s combined security agencies have been successful in thwarting thousands of attempts to smuggle illicit materials into and out of the Gaza Strip in the past years.
With reporting by TPS