Israeli security forces have arrested a 29-year-old Palestinian man for allegedly smuggling handguns into the West Bank from Jordan.
According to the Israel Police, 24 handguns and 800,000 Jordanian dinars ($1.1 million) in cash were found in a bag carried by the suspect from Jericho, near the settlement of Argaman, close to the border with Jordan.
Police did not reveal the name of the detained suspect but said he was spotted by the surveillance cameras while approaching the border from the Jordanian side on Sunday night.
The Times of Israel reported that the police officers set up an ambush in an open area near the settlement and waited for the suspect to cross the border.
The value of the handguns seized on Monday was estimated at some NIS 1 million ($305,000), police officials said.
The Israel Defense Forces and police have stepped up efforts to halt smuggling attempts along the Jordanian border in recent months, the outlet reported, but Israeli officials have admitted that success has been limited thus far.
Meanwhile, Israeli security forces said its Northern District was “spearheading” the effort to counter smuggling attempts from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and areas of the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.
According to the Times, some 30 firearms apparently smuggled over the Jordanian border were seized early this month.+
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