Inspectors of the Central Enforcement and Investigation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last weekend thwarted an attempt to smuggle 13 tons of fish and seafood from Gaza. The fish were transferred to be destroyed, and legal proceedings were initiated against those involved in the smuggling attempt.
The event began with suspicion raised by the inspectors of the Ministry of Agriculture regarding a truck that transported fish and seafood from Gaza to Judea and Samaria. The inspectors monitored the truck, which left the Kerem Shalom crossing and made its way to the Beitunia Crossing near Qalandiya to transfer the goods to Judea and Samaria Arab customers.
During the trip, the truck stopped at Moshav Yad Rambam near Ramla, where the ministry’s inspectors waited for the goods to be unloaded. When a vehicle belonging to a fish marketing company from Acco arrived at the scene, the inspectors raided it and detained both drivers and their vehicles.
According to the investigation, the marketing company planned to sell the smuggled goods within Israel in violation of the law. Legal proceedings were opened against the two drivers involved and the chief food physician at the veterinary unit of the Health Ministry issued an order for the destruction of the booty.
The Ministry of Agriculture stressed that to protect the public’s health, the law does not allow selling animal products that originate in Gaza, because it’s not possible to monitor the entire breeding and production chain there. However, to facilitate the fabric of life and trade relations, the State of Israel accompanies the transfer of goods of animal products between Gaza and Judea and Samaria regularly.
Those goods are loaded at the Gaza crossing onto a truck whose number is registered, and after inventory counting and documentation of the goods, they are loaded onto the truck which is sealed with a secure lock with a unique code. When it reaches the Judea and Samaria crossing, the truck, the lock, and the contents are checked to prevent the goods from being sold in Israel during transport.