Counter-Terrorism: Dinged On The Dead Sea


August 2, 2011: Last month, Israel caught two Palestinians attempting to smuggle ten loaded (with 30 round magazines) AK-47s into the West Bank, by boat, across the Dead Sea from Jordan. Because the Dead Sea water has more than eight times as much salt (and minerals) as sea water, you have to use flat bottomed or inflatable boats. Normal boats ride up so high that they are easily capsized. For that reason, and the fact there are no fish in the Dead Sea, there are few boats to be seen, especially at night. Any that do show up are easily spotted.

The Dead Sea is 63 kilometers long and 11 kilometers at its widest, and easily patrolled. Thus in the last fifteen years, there have been very few weapons smuggling attempts. Two other times (2006, 1998), in this period, Israeli police have caught smugglers trying to bring weapons into the West Bank this way.

Jordan has been very good at preventing weapons from getting into the West Bank, and at keeping known terrorists out as well. Jordan has had problems with Islamic and Palestinian terrorists for decades, and cooperates with Israel police when it comes to counterterrorism issues.


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