Israel's defense ministry revealed that it confiscated a banned, duel-use material, found in sufficient quantity to produce a “large quantity of rocket fuel” on a Palestinian truck at a West Bank crossing.
In a press release the defense ministry noted that a Palestinian truck was discovered smuggling hundreds of liters of Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI) a banned substance, with the intention of transporting the goods to the Gaza Strip. TDI serves as a central component of rocket fuel, and is used in an array of Hamas’s and Islamic Jihad’s rocket arsenals.
The truck, which was crossing from the West Bank into Israel through the Tarqumiya Crossing, was registered as carrying a cargo of "soybean oil." The vehicle aroused the suspicion of inspectors from the crossings authority of the Defense Ministry, and a preliminary chemical test on the oil containers discovered an unidentified substance.
The material was then formally confiscated and sent to a lab for detailed testing, where it became clear that the dual-use material type TDI, prohibited from entering the Gaza Strip, was the liquid inside the containers.
The 450 liters of TDI would have been sufficient for the production of a "large quantity" of rocket fuel for various projectiles, according to the Defense Ministry. The findings of the lab tests were transferred to the security authorities, who have opened an investigation into those involved.
Since the beginning of the year, a combination of the Shin Bet, the Defense Ministry’s coordinator of government activities in the territories (COGAT), Israeli Police, the Crossings Authority and the Ministry of Defense have thwarted more than 500 attempts to smuggle illicit goods from Israel into the Gaza Strip. Since 2014, over 280 trucks have been confiscated as a result of illegal activity.