The Jerusalem Post

Agriculture Ministry intercepts smuggling attempts of frozen fish, seafood and eggs

Fish 390 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Fish 390
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

The smuggling operation involved transferring the goods from Gaza to the West Bank, followed by swapping trucks that have Israeli license plates for partial entry into Israel.

In a series of recent operations, Israeli inspectors from the Agriculture Ministry have successfully intercepted smuggling attempts of large quantities of frozen fish and eggs into the country this week from the Gaza Strip, safeguarding public health and consumer interests, according to a statement from the Agriculture Ministry. 

The operations, led by the agricultural crimes unit of the Agriculture Ministry, targeted smugglers seeking to profit from diverting these products from Palestinian Authority territories.

In the first case, the unit inspectors uncovered a sophisticated attempt to smuggle fish and seafood into Israel. The source of the fish was traced back to Egypt, and the smugglers had devised an intricate plan to bring the products into Israeli territories throughout the West Bank. 

The operation involved transferring the goods from Gaza to the West Bank, followed by swapping trucks that have Israeli license plates for partial entry into Israel. 


Two trucks, loaded with around six tons of frozen fish and seafood, were intercepted in the West Bank. These products were not under any form of supervision, raising significant concerns about their safety. 


The products included a variety of seafood, such as grouper (also known as Jaffa Cod), sea bass, blue crabs, shrimp, cuttlefish, and sea bream. Initial investigations revealed that these products were destined for restaurants and stores across Israel.

Legal proceedings are underway against those involved in the smuggling operation, and all confiscated products are slated for destruction to ensure public safety.

Ministry inspectors raid egg warehouse in Bethlehem

In another closely coordinated operation, inspectors from the ministry, along with the Etzion Regional Brigade, a local police station, and a rescue team from the Shai District, raided a warehouse in El-Khader, Bethlehem area. The warehouse was involved in a counterfeit operation, storing Palestinian eggs using an Israeli sealing machine. 

The warehouse served as an unauthorized sorting facility where Palestinian eggs were stamped with Israeli marketer seals and updated production dates. 


These eggs were intended for sale within Israeli territories, posing an immediate health risk to consumers. A total of 3,000 cartons, equivalent to about 90,000 eggs, were seized, all with Israeli seals and recent production dates.

As a result, all of the eggs were destroyed and the counterfeit sealing machine was confiscated. 

During the operation, there were reports of disturbances, including stone-throwing and firecracker shots at the law enforcement teams. These incidents were handled by the Border Police. 

Jerusalem Border Police cracked down on agricultural crime in August with the arrest of an egg smuggler who was trying to transport almost 6,000 eggs from the territories into Israel.

In February 2022, the ministry prevented five tons of tomatoes in Gaza from being smuggled into Israeli territory and again in May 2022, they seized around 58 tons of watermelons which were smuggled from the PA into Israel.

The Israel Police and the Agriculture Ministry are actively pursuing the investigation to ensure all those involved are brought to justice.

Michael Starr contributed to this article.