On January 8, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced that another attempt to smuggle handguns from Jordan into Israel had been foiled.
The army said in a statement that soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras on January 5 spotted two suspects along the border, near Kibbutz Ashdot Ya’akov Ihud. Both men were arrested by Israeli troops, police officers and border guards, who were quickly dispatched to the scene. Ten handguns of different types were also seized. The apprehended suspects and weapons were reportedly transferred to the Israel Police for further processing.
The IDF, Israeli Police and Border Police have been working nonstop to counter the mass smuggling of arms from Jordan to Palestinian fighters in the West Bank.
Unlike Israel’s frontiers with Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria, its border with Jordan is poorly guarded due to its sheer length and the lack of fortifications. This and the high demands for arms in the West Bank and other nearby Palestinian areas made the border line a key channel for large-scale smuggling.
Last year, dozens of smuggling attempts along the 309-kilometer border line Jordan shares with Israel and the West Bank were foiled. More than 480 weapons were seized.
According to a recent report by The Times of Israel, officials believe the vast majority of arms brought into Israel and the West Bank via Jordan originate in Syria and Iraq. Israeli authorities claim that the security situation on the border with Jordan is improving. However, smuggling attempts continue.