The IDF and the police on Friday thwarted a smuggling attempt of some 43 weapons from Lebanon into Israel. This is the largest smuggling endeavor on this border in recent years: the guns’ estimated value is NIS 2.7 million, just shy of $1 million. The smuggling was thwarted in the area of the village of Ghajar is an Alawite-Arab on the Hasbani River, located on the Lebanese side of the border between Lebanon and the Israeli Golan Heights.
Israel believes the attempt to smuggle the guns into Israel was driven by Hezbollah and intended for carrying out terrorist attacks in Israel in the border area.
The reason for the attempts to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel using this method is likely connected to the difficult economic situation in Lebanon, and Hezbollah’s knowledge that an open attack on Israel would provoke retaliation which would further erode the terrorist group’s status in the Lebanese public.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) July 10, 2021
The IDF estimates that this smuggling effort involved a senior Hezbollah figure, Hajj Khalil Harb, a top Hezbollah official, who has been operating a drug and weapons smuggling operation over the border between Israel and Lebanon for years and was Hassan Nasrallah’s security advisor.
The IDF spokesman in Arabic, Lieutenant Colonel Avichay Adraee, revealed Harb’s identity earlier this week as a smuggler of drugs and weapons into Israel.
المدعو الحاج خليل حرب متورط في عمليات تهريب أسلحة ومخدرات عبر الحدود ويبدو أنه متورط رئيس في عملية التهريب التي أحبطت مطلع الشهر الماضي pic.twitter.com/kACna5y72R
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) July 4, 2021
The spokesman’s tweet in Arabic reads: It was revealed that a Hezbollah official who served as a former security advisor to Nasrallah was involved in smuggling drugs and weapons across the Lebanese border with Israel. The so-called Hajj Khalil Harb is involved in smuggling weapons and drugs across the border, and it seems that he is a major participant in the smuggling operation that was foiled early last month. In June, 15 pistols and 35 kg of drugs were seized in the same area.
Friday was the fifth smuggling attempt that has been thwarted at the Lebanese border since the beginning of 2021.