Israel alleges Hezbollah is smuggling arms to Palestinians for 'future conflict'

Israel alleges Hezbollah is smuggling arms to Palestinians for 'future conflict'
An Israeli media report claimed that the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group was 'drowning' Israel in weapons to help arm Palestinians in any future confrontation.
2 min read
23 November, 2021
Israel says Hezbollah wants to arm Palestinians and drown Israeli youth in drug use [AFP/Getty]

Israeli police on Monday claimed that Hezbollah was trying to "flood Israel with weapons" in preparation for a "future conflict" with Palestinian citizens.

Yamam, Israel's counter-terrorism unit, alleged that Hezbollah - the Iran-backed, Lebanese militia and political movement - was smuggling light weapons, pistols, and machine guns to Palestinians inside Israel and arming them in preparation for a "future war", Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

Israeli officials have claimed tens of thousands of weapons - ranging from submachine guns to hand grenades - are stolen annually from warehouses and military bases in Israel, without being retrieved by authorities.

Palestinians say that Israeli authorities are turning a blind eye to violence in their communities, with murders and gun crime far higher than among Jewish Israelis.

The death toll among the ave of violence among Israel's Palestinian population rose to 111 on Sunday after a 55-year-old woman was stabbed to death. 

Yamam, however, has claimed that Hezbollah has smuggled weapons into Israel via its eastern border with Jordan and its northern frontier with Lebanon with the aim of reaching "criminal organisations in Palestinian society" to be used in future clashes with Israelis.

Yaron Ben-Yishi, head of Yamam’s Northern Command, alleged that Hezbollah directs 95 percent of smuggling operations from Lebanon and said the group wants "to poison Israel and flood it with drugs, to corrupt our youth", according to the Israeli broadcaster.

In July, the Israeli army claimed it foiled an arms smuggling operation on its border with Lebanon, seizing a consignment of guns and ammunition worth $800,000.

"In the events of Operation Guardian of the Walls (the Israeli name for the 11-day aggression on Gaza in May), Hezbollah monitored the sensitivity of the situation and events around Al-Aqsa (mosque), and believed that things will explode one day, and the Arabs (Palestinians) in Israel would have weapons to use in their hostile, sabotage operations," said Ben-Yishi.

Israel and Hezbollah, which holds the strongest presence in southern Lebanon, last fought a month-long war in 2006. Skirmishes along the shared border have taken place since, with the worst deterioration happening this summer as both sides exchanged fire.