The IDF and Israeli Police on Friday intercepted a Lebanese gun smuggling attempt that sought to sneak into Israel dozens of weapons worth 2.7 million shekels (more than $825,000)—and the bust likely thwarted terrorism as well. The Israeli Kan news channel reported that in Israel it is estimated that the 43 guns confiscated were originally intended for use in terrorism. While the official IDF Twitter feed noted that the “possibility of Hezbollah’s involvement” was still being investigated, the Kan Hebrew news report—translated by Google—said the assumption in Israel is that Hezbollah was behind the effort as a covert form of terrorism against Israel. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett referenced the foiled smuggling while saying they “will continue to monitor the situation” in Lebanon.
“Lebanon is on the verge of collapse, like all countries that Iran takes over, and this time, the citizens of Lebanon are paying the price,” said Bennett in comments published by his office. “It must be understood that the citizens of Lebanon are paying a heavy price because of the Iranian takeover of the country. We are closely monitoring what is happening there, both the Defense Minister and the Foreign Minister, and we will continue to be prepared.”
Bennett said the smuggling intercept is “only one of many examples” of Israel’s preparedness efforts. That’s good news for Israel, because Lebanon terrorists are thought by Israel’s Defense establishment to have already succeeded in some smuggling efforts, according to the Kan report.
The IDF Hebrew Twitter feed, meanwhile, highlighted Israel’s fight against the Lebanese plots. “IDF forces monitor everything that is happening along the border, and are working extensively against the phenomenon of drug smuggling and weapons from the Lebanese border,” said the post, which was translated by Google.
The IDF English Twitter post called Friday’s busted gun-running effort “the largest smuggling attempt in the last few years on the Lebanon-Israel Border.”
The sizable money value of the guns is especially stark when put into Lebanese currency.
Avichay Adaree, the IDF Arabic spokesperson, in a post on Twitter translated by Google said, “The value of these pistols that they smuggled from Lebanon and seized with us is estimated at one billion-and-248 million Lebanese pounds. How many liters of milk for children, how many diapers, how many liters of petrol, and how much medicine could they have been bought for Lebanese citizens with the money?”
As for Israel’s success in stopping the smuggling attempt, Adaree celebrated the female IDF troops that intercepted the guns in a separate Twitter post. Said Adaree in Arabic, as translated by Google, “These are the heroines of the week! Their caution, their performance and their fulfillment of their duty contributed to thwarting the largest smuggling operation in a while of weapons from Lebanon.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, July 11, 2021)