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Ecstasy, along with marijuana, hashish, heroin, and coc aine, is heavily used and traded in Israel today, in what some call a sign of the times. Contemporary Israel is an affluent, drug-consuming country-with an estimated 300,000 casual drug users and some 20,000 junkies. There are no reliable statistics on Ecstasy use in Israel, but in 2000 alone, police confiscated 270,000 Ecstasy tablets from smugglers, students, and partygoers in a series of stings. That same year, according to an online report by the Israeli Authority for Combating Drugs, Israeli agents confiscated more than 80 kilograms of heroin, 30 kilograms of hashish, 8,885 kilograms of marijuana, and nearly 8,000 "sheets" (resembling sheets of postage stamps) of '___'. Those numbers may pale beside comparable statistics for the United States where, according to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates, more than 15 million junkies reside. But they add up to serious drug problems, especially among Israeli youth-and have led to commando-style raids in tree-lined residential neighborhoods of Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv. According to a report of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, 75 percent of all crime in Israel is drug-related. And, compounding Israel's worries, the drug trade has led to troubling breaches of Israel's borders with Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan……..
According to a U.S. State Department White Paper on Global Narcotics, issued in 1998, the Jewish State is "a drug-consuming country with serious marijuana, hashish and heroin use, and a growing problem of coc aine, '___', and amphetamine consumption." But perhaps more striking, the report found that Israel is "no longer just a user nation, but like Colombia, Thailand and Pakistan, it has also now become a trafficking power." Authorities say Israeli crime groups have for several years had a virtual monopoly on global distribution of Ecstasy (though police say Russians are also major players, and Colombian and Dominican groups, realizing the potential for profits, are gaining ground.)….
"Nobody suspects nice Jewish kids [of] being dope smugglers," says a former NYPD detective in the Manhattan District Attorney's office, "especially Orthodox Jews."
The Israeli mafia is the general term for organized crime groups operating in Israel and also internationally. Allegedly there are 16 crime families operating in Israel, five major groups active on the national-level, and 11 smaller organizations. Many heads and members of the crime groups have either been killed or are in prison…
Organized crime in Israel
The major crime groups are the Abergils, the Abutbuls, the Alperons, the Dumranis, the Shirazis, the Amir Mulner and Zeev Rosenstein syndicates. The illegal activities they are engaged in include:
Operating casinos and other forms of gambling inside and outside Israel
Prostitution and trafficking in women
Protection and extortion rackets
Drugs and arms dealing
Fencing stolen goods
According to Israel’s former Police Commissioner David Cohen, Israeli crime organizations had penetrated the formal economic sector and local governments, and “equipped themselves with large quantities of combat means explosives and arms.” In a mob war starting in the early 2000s between the crime families, several crime bosses were killed. It also cost the life of innocent bystanders.
Ex-Soviet organized crime
Ex-Soviet organized crime in Israel began with the mass immigration of Russian Jews to Israel in 1989. The Russian mafia saw Israel as an ideal place to launder money, as Israel's banking system was designed to encourage aliyah, the immigration of Jews, and the accompanying capital. Following the trend of global financial deregulation, Israel had also implemented legislation aimed at easing the movement of capital. Combined with the lack of anti-money laundering legislation, "Russian" organised crime found it an easy place to transfer ill-gotten gains. In 2005, police estimated that Russian organised crime had laundered between $5 and 10 billion in the fifteen years since the end of the Soviet Union. Even non-Jewish criminals such as Sergei Mikhailov, sought to get an Israeli passport, using fake Jewish documentation.
Israel is party to the 1961, 1971 Drug Control Conventions. It has acceded to but not yet ratified the 1988 convention. However, no legislation is currently planned for the implementation of article 12 of the 1988 convention. Israel regularly complies with its reporting requirements under the treaties. In February 1998, the INCB has fielded a mission to the territories under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and Israel to assess the situation with regard to the implementation of the international drug control treaties. The Government of Israel holds the view that, due to the mixed sovereignty in the Palestinian Autonomous Areas, the treaties are currently not applicable in these areas.
Trafficking in Israel mainly supplies the local market. Lebanon is frequently cited as a prime source in this respect, also for trafficking of coc aine from South America through family-based networks. However, these sources appear to reflect the situation in the early nineties. Recent reports point to an increasing trafficking of heroin in Jordan. Given the small market in Jordan, a significant amount of this heroin may be destined for Israel. Most synthetic drugs are are reported to be trafficked from Europe, mainly the Netherlands….
Drug abuse is spread among all social strata in Israel. The main drugs of abuse are cannabis and heroin, heroin has become more prominent in the recent years. In 1996 reports, Israeli authorities reported a rise in the consumption of coc aine and a sharp increase in the use of '___' and amphetamines. In addition, the authorities are concerabout the widespread abuse of tranquilizers. The drug-related crimes are reported to represent 75% of the total crimes committed in Israel.
The swarm of tunnel activity on the Gaza border raises clouds of fine dust, a sure sign of the boom in underground trafficking since the fall of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.
While the ousted president appeared in court this week on a stretcher, smugglers from the Palestinian territories—under an Israeli blockade since 2006 with Egypt’s tacit co-operation—were enjoying their newfound freedoms.
“Things have changed with the situation in Egypt. It’s chaos out there,” said Mohamed, 27, who runs a tunnel where workers were hoisting bags of cement.
Trade in cement, which is on an Israeli list of banned goods on grounds it could be used for military purposes, has risen by up to five-fold since the political shift in Egypt.......
An average-sized tunnel costs $90,000 to construct and run; some investors in the tunnels have been defrauded. According to one report, the cost of smuggling a person from Egypt into the Gaza strip is $1,000. A Kalashnikov rifle in the Gaza Strip can cost up to $1,000 compared with 2,000 Egyptian pounds ($320) across the border. A single cartridge used to cost $3 in Gaza compared with $0.08 in Egypt, but since the Hamas coup, and the subsequent capture of the Fatah weapons' storage, the prices have dropped.
The tunnels are used to import a wide range of goods, including the horses that race at the Faisal Equestrian Club. The tunnels were also used to smuggle in construction materials for the Gaza Mall and the Crazy Water Park.
The tunnels are run as businesses, mainly by the Abu Samhadana and Abu Rish families, both of Bedouin origin. Smuggling provides tens of thousands of US dollars in profits for each delivery. Some sources have also reported financial links to the Arafat family.[dead link] Some of the tunnels were allegedly controlled by one of the Palestinian Authority security services under the command of Moussa Arafat, cousin of Yasser Arafat. Until his assassination at the hands of a rival Palestinian faction in 2005, Moussa Arafat was believed to receive a portion of the profits derived from the smuggling tunnels.
Following the December 2008 Israeli offensive, a United Nations survey of Gaza residents found increases in risk taking behaviour, including a significant rise in cases of drug addiction. One drug associated with this trend is Tramadol, first developed in Germany during the 1970s and introduced in the 1990s as a centrally acting analgesic with properties similar to codeine and morphine and which is widely prescribed as a pain killer....
Tramadol is relatively easy to obtain in Gaza, either with fake prescriptions from pharmacies or on the black market. News reports prior to the 2008 offensive suggested that up to 30 percent of males between the ages of 14 and 30 had already been using Tramadol on a regular basis, with some 15,000 showing signs of addiction....
Whatever the tactics and results, the demand for drugs continues and as with any illicit drug trade anywhere in the world, as long as there is demand there will be dealers willing to take whatever risks are necessary to meet that demand and reap its immense profits.
The attacks coincide with ongoing Egyptian military operations against Islamist groups in the Sinai Peninsula ... (a move Israel endorsed). Since the fall of Mubarak, anti-government fighters in the Sinai have been attacking Egyptian military outposts, infiltrating into towns and blowing up gas pipelines between Egypt and Israel. Since Mubarak's fall, the Israeli government has asserted that Hamas has redoubled its efforts to ship weapons into Gaza through the tunnels (indeed, the Egyptian Army's control of the region slackened during the anti-regime protests; the resulting campaign is an effort to reassert control over the strategic peninsula).
In choosing to target Eilat, the attackers may have sought to influence Egypt's position towards Israel by stoking the fires of anti-Israeli sentiment in the region. Remember that one of the first things the transitional government that replaced Israel's long-time ally Mubarak promised to do was uphold the 1979 peace treaty with Israel, a treaty which at the time was regarded as an act of capitulation by then-Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. The transitional government had absolutely no desire to test Israeli will or American largess by repudiating that treaty, or the agreements that followed it. [color=limegreen]By attacking targets on the Israeli-Egyptian border, the insurgents may hope to win accolades for so brazenly "sticking it" to the two main regional powers.
While Hamas militants have not taken responsibility for any of the rocket attacks and have, in fact, been arresting suspected militants, Reuters published that, “A Hamas radio station announced the group’s armed wing had decided 'there is no longer any truce with the enemy,' alluding to a 2009 deal that ended a three week Israeli offensive targeting militants firing rockets at the Jewish state.”....
Apparently a broadcast on a purported Hamas station is a completely reliable and authoritative source, even when it is directly contradicted by the official party leadership.
This caliber of “journalism” from Reuters is appalling, especially given their status as a supposedly balanced news service.
Not surprisingly, the Jerusalem Post didn’t even bother publishing all of the facts and instead opted for publishing only that which justifies their aggression....
Egypt has reported that one army officer and two security officials were killed on the Egyptian side of the Israel-Egyptian border but have not given lucid details on how they were murdered.
The Israeli Defense Force alleged that there was a firefight between IDF troops and “militants” along the Israeli-Egyptian border and has claimed in an official statement that they “will investigate the matter thoroughly and update the Egyptians.”...
Not surprisingly, the United States Department of State has only condemned the possible false flag attack on Israel while remaining silent on the disproportionate murder of Palestinians and the killing of Egyptians...