Terrorist Groups Attempt to Smuggle Prohibited Items into Gaza Using Online Shopping

Hundreds of packages carrying prohibited “dual-use” items ordered on the internet were seized at the Erez Crossing on their way to the terrorist organizations. The packages were ordered from popular online shopping websites such as AliExpress.

​Hundreds of packages pass through the Erez Crossing, operated by the Defense Ministry’s Crossings Authority, on their way into Gaza everyday. Every package that passes from Israel into Gaza goes through a security check to ensure that prohibited “dual-use” items do not reach terrorists groups. In recent weeks, security officials have discovered that various elements in the Gaza Strip are exploiting international online shopping websites, including one of the world’s largest websites AliExpress, to smuggle prohibited products into Gaza while using the guise of innocent packages from these websites.

 

Among the products discovered at the crossing in October, which were purchased online and hidden in packages, were: drones, telescopes, binoculars, metal detectors, walkie talkies, camouflage devices, miniature motors, night vision goggles and special cameras and radios. Israel’s Defense Ministry defines these products as "dual-use" materials - materials which can be used for civilian purposes but also for terrorist activities. The terrorist groups were able to order these “dual-use” products from online shopping websites.

When such products are discovered at the crossing, they are immediately seized by COGAT officers from the Gaza CLA. Some of the items discovered could have easily been used to improve weapons for terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip.

 

Terrorist organizations continue to exploit the civilian mail service, which is meant for Gaza’s residents, for negative purposes. The Gaza CLA and the Crossings Authority will continue to act against smuggling attempts and to stop weapons and prohibited items from reaching terror groups.