Israel says it seized bomb material at Gaza border

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Israel said on Wednesday that it had seized material for manufacturing explosives from a lorry attempting to cross from Israel into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

A truck carrying drums of fluid marked as car lubricant aroused the suspicions of Israeli inspectors at the Kerem Shalom crossing, an Israeli defence ministry statement said.

A laboratory recently set up at the crossing analysed the suspect substances and found them to be raw materials which could be used to make tons of explosives, it said.

The ministry did not say exactly when the discovery was made, only that it happened recently.

Israeli media said that it had been subject to a court gag order until Wednesday.

Haaretz newspaper said that the on-site lab would enable faster testing and reduce waiting times for goods shipments into the coastal Palestinian territory.

Israel has maintained a rigorous blockade on Gaza for the past decade, arguing that it must keep arms and materials which could be used to build tunnels and fortifications out of the Islamic organisation's hands.

Egypt has also largely closed its border in recent years.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel since 2008, the last was in 2014.

In a separate incident, the Israeli army said Wednesday that troops had shot and wounded a Palestinian "infiltrating Israel from the northern Gaza Strip" and arrested his companion.