Gaza sisters smuggled explosives labeled medicine

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 20, 2017

The pair took advantage of the Israeli leniency and attempted to smuggle explosives in tubes labeled as "medical materials" through the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza.

Security officials announced on Wednesday that a massive terror attack was averted when explosives were discovered hidden among medical supplies belonging to two sisters on their way to receive cancer treatment in Israel.

Basema Atallah, 55, is undergoing treatments in Jerusalem for colorectal cancer and was given special dispensation to enter Israel from the Hamas-ruled territory for treatment.

Her husband Ragheb tells AP his wife was unaware that she may have been smuggling anything illegal into Israel. "It seems there was something and this caused disruption", the husband said Thursday.

Ragheb Atallah says his wife has been released by Israeli authorities and has been given permission again to go to the hospital, but her sister, 57-year-old Ibtessam Eid, who traveled with her, remains in Israeli custody. Since then, Israel and Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction, have fought three wars. All travelers are subject to strict security checks, including in some cases lengthy interrogations by Shin Bet agents before they receive travel permits.

AP correspondent Fares Akram contributed reporting from Gaza City, Gaza Strip.

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