Israeli police announced that, during the past 24 hours, they had thwarted “the largest arms smuggling operation in history across the Lebanese border,” and arrested three residents of Tuba Zanghariya village, after finding in their possession 61 weapons, including 58 pistols and three M16 rifles, in addition to half a kilogram of drugs, worth more than a million dollars.
The police managed to arrest the smugglers after being chased by the Northern District Investigations, in cooperation with the Israeli army. Since the beginning of this year, four smuggling attempts have been thwarted, during which 120 weapons were seized, according to Maariv.
The commander of the northern region, Shimon Levy, said: “If this smuggled consignment had not been thwarted, it would have found its way into the Arab community. We have saved dozens of lives in this process, including innocent civilians and even children who may be accidentally harmed by stray bullets.”
The police said that weapons and drugs entered Israel through the village of Ghajar, occupied since 1967, which is located on the triangular border between Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
It added that the smugglers tried to escape, but a large police, intelligence and army forces chased them, from the upper Galilee to the outskirts of the city of Nazareth.
The head of intelligence in the North Police, Yaron Ben Yishai, said that “the Lebanese Hezbollah is behind these operations.”
He considered sending 4 shipments of weapons and drugs in such a short period of time as “a leap in Hezbollah and Iran’s activity, which brings drugs and violence to the Arab youth in Israel.”
He continued that under the pretext of “encouraging resistance; They multiply this activity dozens of times, and they are no longer ashamed to be associated with drugs, as they used to be.”