Israeli customs agents in collaboration with Shabak foiled a Hamas attempt to smuggle four tons of ammonium chloride hidden in a shipment of salt before the Passover holiday, Israel announced on Tuesday. Ammonium chloride is used in hair shampoo, in the glue that bonds plywood, and in cleaning products, but as ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) it is typically used in aerospace propulsion applications, including in building rockets in Gaza intended hit civilian populations inside Israel. According to the announcement, the amount seized could be used to manufacture hundreds of long-range rockets.
About a week before the holiday, a special shipment of 40 tons of salt arrived at the Nitzana crossing which is used for moving goods from Egypt to Israel, the PA and the Gaza Strip.
The unusually large amount of salt being transferred raised a red flag.
A thorough examination by the Nitzana customs agents revealed that some of the bags of salt were actually ammonium chloride weighing 4 tons altogether. Ammonium chloride is a dual-use substance requiring an import license, because of its potential use by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in manufacturing long-range rockets.
Recently, the Shabak has noted a vast increase in salt shipments to Gaza, and soon figured out it was being used to conceal smuggled illegal chemicals. In the reported case, Shabak believes the importer, a Gaza resident, was indeed seeking to provide the chemical to the Hamas, under the guise of merchandise intended for the civilian population and rehabilitation projects.
To date, the collaboration between the customs service and Shabak has led to the thwarting of dozens of smuggling attempts that included shipments of sulfuric acid, diving Suits, polyurethane propellant for rockets, sulfur rods, fiberglass rolls, and a special coal used to fuel iron furnaces for processing metals.
Jerusalem (TPS) – The Hamas operative who detonated a bomb on a Jerusalem bus this week has died in an Israeli hospital, the Israeli police confirmed on Thursday, partially lifting a gag order on the investigation. A police spokesperson further revealed that several other suspects have been arrested.
Abdel Hamid Abu Srour, a 19-year-old Hamas operative from the town of Beit Jala near Bethlehem, detonated an explosive device on the number 12 public bus in Jerusalem on Monday, injuring 20 people, including one seriously. Abu Srour died of his wounds on Wednesday in Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) characterized the bombing as a “suicide attack.”
The police, Shin Bet, and IDF conducted extensive raids in Bethlehem on Tuesday, arresting multiple Hamas activists who are suspected of helping Abu Srour plan and carry out the terror attack.
Further details of the investigation remain under a gag order.
Following Abu Srour’s death on Wednesday evening, the Hamas terror organization claimed responsibility for the attack and called him a “martyr.” Spontaneous celebrations erupted in Bethlehem and Gaza, with people passing out candy in the streets to celebrate the bus bombing.
Four victims of the terror attack are being treated at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. Three are in the intensive care unit on respirators, said Hadassah spokeswoman Hadar Elboim on Thursday.
“We will locate the men who created this bomb, we will reach the men who sent the bomber as well as the ones behind them,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Monday’s terror attack. “We will settle the account with these terrorists.”
In Gaza, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist groups are threatening to launch rockets at Israel in response to Monday night’s Jenin operation. As of now, a few hours after the operation began, neither have launched any rockets.
It was another case of “just testing, people, go back to your daily routine.”
A Code Red rocket alert siren activated in Or Haner and Erez, two communities in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district near Gaza at 4:43 pm Tuesday afternoon. Once again, IDF officials claimed the rocket alert was a “false alarm.”
A similar incident occurred two days ago, when several sirens activated in the upper and lower Galilee and in the Golan Heights. All of those rocket alerts were deemed “false alarms” as well.
Tuesday’s siren activated barely two hours after U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry announced the signing of an historic nuclear agreement between world powers and Iran.
As it does every time, the siren sent thousands of families in southern Israel racing for safe spaces.
Residents of the area in which the siren sounds have a window of just 15 seconds within which to find shelter before a rocket, missile or mortar shell could land and explode.
False alarm or not, families must grab their children and make a run for safety because there’s no room for second chances when it involves lethal missile attacks aimed directly at residential areas.
Rockets fired from Gaza are usually provided by Iran. The Hamas terrorist organization that rules the enclave is also equipped, trained and generously funded by Tehran as well.
Anti-Semites celebrated in Amsterdam this weekend, using the “Palestinian cause” as their latest excuse for Jew hatred.
Images of the bodies of Palestinian children bloodied and killed, supposedly by Israeli soldiers, festooned Amsterdam’s Dam Square in a protest aimed at getting the attention of people who hate Israel.
A photo of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu depicted as Satan was Photo-Shopped with blood-red eyes, a blue Star of David tattoo on his forehead and vampire teeth dripping more blood, hunched over the body of a bleeding, dead Palestinian baby. “Can’t get enough,” charged the poster in deep blue letters on a black background above the image. “Save Palestinian Kids” it proclaimed in white over the image as a caption below.
Next to that poster was “Humanitarian Situation” describing what it called “Gaza Under Attack.” It quoted statistics claiming 9875 wounded, 188 schools damaged and 475,000 displaced people as a result of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge counter terror war.
The images were hung there by anti-Israel activists who were protesting under the title “Save the Palestinian Children.”
But as with many other publicity claims about Israel by the Palestinians, both the statistics and the venomous lies are aimed at an entirely different agenda.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization urged civilians to stay in their homes and in some cases actually forcing them to do so in spite of IDF warnings aimed at securing families ahead of strikes meant only for terror targets.
A number of schools had become terrorist bases, and some were missile storage warehouses for Hamas – including a number owned and operated by the United Nations.
Numerous civilian buildings were destroyed – including hospitals – because Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists had transformed apartments or basements into terrorist headquarters or weapons productions facilities. In many others, entrances to terrorist tunnels and hidden rocket launchers were installed as well.
The use of these buildings as military bases forced the IDF to mark them for destruction in order to ensure they could not be used to hurt Israeli civilians again, despite the tragic results.
The question still remains, however: why would the Gaza leadership willingly sacrifice the welfare of Gaza citizens in order to murder others? Why would its supporters champion that cause?
The IDF figures showed that during the 50-day war, 4,564 rockets, missiles and mortar shells were fired at Israelis by Gaza terrorists. Of those, 224 struck heavily populated areas, and 735 more were intercepted and shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
According to the United Nations, quoting Gaza health officials, 2,139 people were killed and 11,000 were wounded. The UN estimated that more than 20,000 homes were left uninhabitable by the war. The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reported that approximately 500,000 people were displaced. Magen David Adom reported at least 70 Israelis were killed and 842 others were wounded in the conflict.
Number of bomb shelters to protect Gazans: 0
Number of bomb shelters protecting Israelis: hundreds of thousands. This is why there are so many more Gazan casualties than Israelis: when it comes down to the bottom line, Israeli lawmakers make sure contractors include bomb shelters in homes and buildings to protect the citizens. Gaza’s rulers do not care about their people and do not insist on building codes. And when they attack their neighbors and provoke a military response, they insist their citizens sacrifice themselves and their loved ones in order to maximize international solidarity through gory snaps of the aftermath.
During Operation Protective Edge, the IDF identified and eliminated 109 weapons warehouses, 85 weapons factories, 192 Hamas military or training sites, 1,814 targets linked to rocket launches and 312 houses belonging to people involved in terrorism. The air force also conducted 840 strikes to cover ground troops. In addition, 32 terrorist tunnels were identified and destroyed.
The Jewish State continues to be vilified for protecting her citizens, as it is by more than half of the membership of the United Nations following every counter terrorist war launched to silence the rocket fire.
The score was 190-0 for freedom of worship for Arabs from Gaza and zero for Jews on Friday.
Israel allowed nearly 200 Gazans, all over the age of 60, to pray at the mosque on the Temple Mount, eight months after 500 Arabs from Gaza prayed there for the first time since 2007, according to the Ma’an News Agency, based in Bethlehem.
The last time Israel allowed Jews to pray regularly at the Temple Mount was nearly 2,000 years ago, during the time of the Second Temple, which a growing number of Muslim clerics like to pretend never existed.
Permission for Arabs from Gaza to travel to Jerusalem and pray at the Al Aqsa mosque is part of the last year’s ceasefire between Hamas and Israel that was supposed to end the most recent barrage of missile attacks on Israel.
Hamas again broke the ceasefire on Saturday with rocket launches against Israel but blamed them on rival terrorist groups.
Israel continues to honor its end of the ceasefire and allows Gazans to pray at the Temple Mount mosque, where Hamas banners and even Islamic State (ISIS) banners frequently fly amid sermons that preach jihad against Jews, all in the name of freedom of worship, if you are not Jewish.
The Iron Dome has been returned to southern Israel to protect civilians from Gaza rocket fire.
On Friday, the IDF again deployed arrays of the anti-missile batteries to defend the port city of Ashdod and the western Negev community of Netivot.
The move follows two rounds of attacks launched two weeks in a row. The first week’s rockets were fired by the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization. One mid-range Grad Katyusha rocket landed in Gan Yavne, slightly east of Ashdod. One teenage girl was hospitalized due to trauma. Retaliation for the attack included air strikes on four targets in Gaza.
This week’s attack, however, was launched by a Salafi Muslim group linked to Al Qaeda or Da’esh (ISIS) – possibly the Army of Islam or Jabhat al Nusra. These groups are now vying for power and hoping to raise tensions between Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization, according to security sources.
“Even if last night’s shooting at Israel came from errant global jihad groups who wish to challenge Hamas by firing at us, we consider Hamas responsible for what happens in Gaza and we will not tolerate attempts to harm our citizens,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Thursday.
“The IDF views the incident with gravity,” an army spokesperson said in a statement following Wednesday’s attack. “The Hamas terrorist organization is the address and one upon whom the responsibility falls.”
Retaliation against Gaza for the rocket fire came in the form of a muted set of air strikes that took out a few empty terror bases in the enclave.