Watch: Israeli navy foils attempt to smuggle rocket manufacturing materials to Gaza
The IDF said Friday it foiled an attempt by Hamas terror group to smuggle materials to manufacture rockets into Gaza last month.
On May 11, the vessels entered a restricted area on southern Gaza while violating security protocols, which prompted their seizure, and the arrest of four Muslim terrorists who were transferred for investigation by security forces.
A Shin Bet probe revealed the terrorists were headed toward the Sinai coast in Egypt as part of an attempt to smuggle contraband, the statement said, including 24 barrels of fiberglass, which Hamas uses to make projectiles.
The terrorists were charged with being members of Hamas, conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, attempting to aid and abet a terror organization and several other offenses.
Iranian-backed Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups have restocked an arsenal of rockets to levels reached just before the last war with Israel in 2014, current and former Israeli officials say.
Through a combination of smuggling and local manufacturing, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have replenished their stock of roughly 10,000 rockets. The majority of the rockets are made with “crude material” brought into Gaza via tunnels from Sinai.