JERUSALEM (JTA) – A shipment of knives, swords, fireworks and Tasers bound for eastern Jerusalem was intercepted by Israel Police.
The two shipping containers of weapons addressed to residents of the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, which has a large population of Christian Arabs, was labeled as Christmas decorations. The weapons were hidden among the decorations.
The containers were seized by police last week following their arrival from China at the Ashdod Port in southern Israel and their removal to a storehouse in Afula, according to reports. A gag order on the seizure was lifted on Thursday.
Three Israeli Arabs picked up the containers. They were arrested, along with their two drivers.
The shipping containers held 18,000 fireworks of a caliber that is restricted in Israel, 5,200 commando knives, 4,300 flashlights that can be used as Tasers, 5,500 Tasers, and 1,000 swords, according to police.
Fireworks, pointed directly at police and security forces and fired, have been used extensively by rioters in eastern Jerusalem and have caused serious injuries. The Knesset Economics Committee on Tuesday approved a three-month ban on the import of fireworks due to their use as weapons.