Israel says 'foiled $800,000 arms smuggling' attempt from Lebanon

Israel says 'foiled $800,000 arms smuggling' attempt from Lebanon
2 min read
10 July, 2021
An alleged arms smuggling operation was foiled by Israeli troops along the border with Lebanon, the army said on Saturday.
Hezbollah and Israel fought a deadly war in 2006 [Getty]

The Israeli army claimed it foiled an arms smuggling operation on the border with Lebanon, seizing a consignment of guns and ammunition.

Troops on Friday night "spotted suspects smuggling bags from Lebanon into Israeli territory in the area" of the divided border village of Ghajar, the army said in a statement.

It said the "smuggling attempt" was detected "using a variety of means, in both overt and covert ways", and that the military was investigating if Lebanon's Iran-backed Shia group Hezbollah was involved.

The operation carried out in coordination with Israeli police netted 43 guns, it said, without reporting any arrests.

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The Times of Israel newspaper, on its website, posted what appeared to be drone footage of two people carrying bags.

Police said it was the largest arms smuggling operation in several years on the border with Lebanon, estimating the value of the haul at more than $800,000.

Hezbollah, which fought its own devastating war with Israel in 2006, remains a powerful force in Lebanese politics and has close relations with Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

The latest developments comes just weeks after a brutal Israeli offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip killed more than 200 Palestinians, including 66 children.

The flare-up in violence saw occupying warplanes decimate residential and commercial buildings, including those housing global media networks such as Al Jazeera and The Associated Press.

Thousands of Palestinians in the besieged territory were left homeless due to the Israeli bombardment, which drew global scrutiny and calls for urgent action to halt the aggression.

Weeks later, Hamas' political bureau leader Ismail Haniyeh travelled to Lebanon to meet with Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah to discuss how they can build on the experience of the latest round of Israeli violence.

There were no comments after the meeting that brought Nasrallah and Haniyeh together, however, it was the first between the two since September.