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Tuesday, March 25, 2008       Free Headline Alerts

Israelis stop 14 transfers of 'dangerous substances' to West Bank

TEL AVIV — Israel's military reported a sharp increase in shipments of material required for the production of explosives.

Over the last three weeks, Israeli military and police reported foiling 14 attempts to transfer substances deemed dangerous.

"Six containers of merchandise and five trucks of dangerous substances were caught in total," the military said on March 17.

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On March 19, the military seized an Israeli truck with three tons of potassium nitrate south of the West Bank city of Kalkilya. Potassium nitrate, banned by the military, has been used in the production of weapons and explosives.

The statement said security forces intercepted 1,686 attempts to transfer banned substances, such as sulphuric acid. Police have opened at least nine investigations.

"These substances are used as raw materials for the production of explosives used for attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers," the military said.

"Without these substances, it is more difficult to execute terrorist attacks."

In mid-March, the military's Central Command issued an alert for Palestinian attempts to smuggle dual-use material in the West Bank, the military said. Military sources said the substances were being smuggled from Israel and Jordan.

"Throughout the recent period, security forces have thwarted 14 attempts to transfer dangerous substances and resources which can serve for dual purposes, yet are often utilized for producing and manufacturing of weaponry and explosive substances," the statement said.

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