A French consular employee has been arrested and accused of smuggling weapons from Gaza and into the West Bank.
Diplomatic driver Romain Franck, along with five West Bank and East Jerusalem residents, were indicted Monday for using Franck's diplomatic vehicle to smuggle in 70 pistols and two assault rifles into the West Bank, the Times of Israel reports. Franck was first arrested on February 15.
Franck is accused of knowingly transporting the weapons using his diplomatic vehicle since fewer security checks allowed him to do so without security officials knowledge. Prosecutors allege he transported the weapons to the West Bank from a Palestinian employee at the French Cultural Center in Gaza, Zuheir Abed Abdeen.
Franck covered his face with his coat as he went into his hearing. Two other French diplomats were present to monitor the proceedings.
The Israeli security agency Shin Bet claimed financial gain was the reason for Franck's actions.
"This is a very grave incident in which the immunity and privileges granted to foreign missions in Israel was cynically exploited for smuggling," an official from Shin Bet said.