Did your pants just chirp Big Boy, or are you just glad to see me? Reason # 132 why Palestinians don’t have a country

The Goldfinch—a tiny bird that supports a huge criminal Palestinian smuggling enterprise

You can’t make this stuff up. There is an on-going smuggling operation in the Palestinian settlement that trades not in narcotics, weapons, or stolen jewelry, but on songbirds—specifically, goldfinches. The birds are apparently sought after by residents of Israel’s Arab quarter, who are said to be willing to pay big shekels just to hear the birds sing. The smugglers range from highly organized criminal operations, to bumbling juveniles who are trying to capitalize on the seemingly easy money.

According to Toi News, two Palestinian minors were caught by Israeli authorities trying to smuggle songbirds to the West Bank in their pants while crossing into the country from Jordan.

The two minors — a boy from Hebron and a girl from Ramallah — aroused the suspicion of security at the Allenby Border Crossing after guards heard tweeting sounds coming from their pants. A search of the two minors by the guards revealed dozens of goldfinches concealed inside their pants.

According to the Times of Israeli, wild goldfinch can fetch up to NIS 150 ($39. But the wild birds often are mated with yellow canaries, which produce a more mellow song. A goldfinch-canary hybrid can go for anywhere from NIS 500 shekels ($131) to NIS 1,500 ($395).

Hiding birds in pants legs seems to be a preferred method of smuggling.

Harratz news reported the December 29, 2019 arrest of four Palestinians who attempted to smuggle 94 birds that were hidden in their pants. The men were suspected of bringing the goldfinches into Hebron from Jordan, to sell for hundreds of shekels each. The men were arrested at the Israel-Jordan border.

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said the four were detained after rousing the suspicion of the Allenby Bridge crossing’s guards. Police said that the four men did not have a permit to own or transfer the birds, adding the suspects admitted they were planning to sell each one for hundreds of shekels.

This is the biggest attempt to smuggle wildlife through Israel’s border with Jordan in the past two years, Israel’s Civil Administration said. European goldfinches, which are a protected species in Israel, are illegally trapped and traded in Israeli territory as well, a practice that poses a serious threat to the species in the region.

Major Hadi Khatib, Commander of the Liaison Office at Allenby Bridge, said that Palestinians returning from Jordan have made several similar smuggling attempts in recent months.

Defense officials thwarted an attempt on Wednesday morning to smuggle thousands of shekels worth of live songbirds from Gaza to Israel. Inspectors at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip confiscated some 30 goldfinches from a 44-yearold trader from Gaza City attempting to convey the birds to east Jerusalem, according to the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, or COGAT.

This is the fifth time in the past two years that Erez crossing officers have stopped such a smuggling attempt of goldfinches, which are considered a rare and highly sought-after animal in the Arab sector, a statement from COGAT said.

The confiscation of the birds at the border was a collaborative effort among inspectors from the Defense Ministry’s Border Authority, the Coordination and Liaison Administration to the Gaza Strip and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

“During a routine security check of a Palestinian agricultural trader, a resident of Gaza, security guards noticed suspicious signs,” said Erez crossing manager Shlomo Tsaban. “Checking the dealer’s bag revealed a number of birds, tied to and hidden in the side of the bag.”

The entry permit of the smuggler was immediately taken by the inspectors, and the INPA is examining the possibility of fining him, in order to reduce the phenomenon of animal trafficking, according to COGAT. The birds will be released by the INPA in southern Israel.

“The increase in the number of bird-smuggling attempts from Gaza and from Judea and Samaria is due to the increase in hunting, which has made the bird a rare animal,” said Uri Madar, the Gaza Liaison and Coordination Administration’s agricultural officer. “We are working in partnership with all parties, Israeli and Palestinian, to help animals in Gaza – this is about saving lives in every respect.”

A former customs official at Al-Karama checkpoint said that what is being seized is trivial when we compare it to the actual number of birds being smuggled. Adding that the smuggling of birds became a big network within illegal trade such as cannabis… etc. Illegal traders usually don’t go through the boarders themselves, but they have their workers smuggle the goods. “Most of the smugglers are female. For example, once we found that a woman was travelling with six girls, hiding 120 birds under their clothing” the former official stated. “Because of this, we hired female employees to inspect female passengers on the Al-Karama checkpoint, especially after we found out how big of a trade it was for them.”

Harretz News, Monday (February 17) reported the arrest of four Friday morning at the Israel-Jordan border for trying to smuggle 94 protected goldfinches into Hebron in the West Bank. The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said that the Palestinians hid the small songbirds in their pants and were detained after rousing the suspicion of the Allenby Bridge crossing’s guards.

Police said that the four men did not have a permit to own or transfer the birds, adding the suspects admitted they were planning to sell each one for hundreds of shekels. The birds were discovered hidden under one suspect’s pants..
This is the biggest attempt to smuggle wildlife through Israel’s border with Jordan in the past two years, Israel’s Civil Administration said. European goldfinches, which are a protected species in Israel, are illegally trapped and traded in Israeli territory as well, a practice that poses a serious threat to the species in the region.

Major Hadi Khatib, Commander of the Liaison Office at Allenby Bridge, said that Palestinians returning from Jordan have made several similar smuggling attempts over the past month. Last week, the Civil Administration said a Palestinian was arrested for attempting to covertly smuggle goldfinches in his shoes. In 2017, a Palestinian man from Nablus was also caught at Allenby Bridge with over 40 birds tied to his legs in an attempt to smuggle them into Jordan.
The men were suspected of bringing the goldfinches into Hebron from Jordan, to sell for hundreds of shekels each. The men were arrested at the Israel-Jordan border.

The office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said the four were detained after rousing the suspicion of the Allenby Bridge crossing’s guards. Police said that the four men did not have a permit to own or transfer the birds, adding the suspects admitted they were planning to sell each one for hundreds of shekels.
This is the biggest attempt to smuggle wildlife through Israel’s border with Jordan in the past two years, Israel’s Civil Administration said. European goldfinches, which are a protected species in Israel, are illegally trapped and traded in Israeli territory as well, a practice that poses a serious threat to the species in the region.
Major Hadi Khatib, Commander of the Liaison Office at Allenby Bridge, said that Palestinians returning from Jordan have made several similar smuggling attempts in recent months.

Defense officials thwarted an attempt on Wednesday morning to smuggle thousands of shekels worth of live songbirds from Gaza to Israel. Inspectors at the Erez crossing to the northern Gaza Strip confiscated some 30 goldfinches from a 44-yearold trader from Gaza City attempting to convey the birds to east Jerusalem, according to the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories unit, or COGAT.
This is the fifth time in the past two years that Erez crossing officers have stopped such a smuggling attempt of goldfinches, which are considered a rare and highly sought-after animal in the Arab sector, a statement from COGAT said.
The confiscation of the birds at the border was a collaborative effort among inspectors from the Defense Ministry’s Border Authority, the Coordination and Liaison Administration to the Gaza Strip and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

“During a routine security check of a Palestinian agricultural trader, a resident of Gaza, security guards noticed suspicious signs,” said Erez crossing manager Shlomo Tsaban. “Checking the dealer’s bag revealed a number of birds, tied to and hidden in the side of the bag.”
The entry permit of the smuggler was immediately taken by the inspectors, and the INPA is examining the possibility of fining him, in order to reduce the phenomenon of animal trafficking, according to COGAT. The birds will be released bFly little birds!y the INPA in southern Israel.

“The increase in the number of bird-smuggling attempts from Gaza and from Judea and Samaria is due to the increase in hunting, which has made the bird a rare animal,” said Uri Madar, the Gaza Liaison and Coordination Administration’s agricultural officer. “We are working in partnership with all parties, Israeli and Palestinian, to help animals in Gaza – this is about saving lives in every respect.”

A former customs official at Al-Karama checkpoint said that what is being seized is trivial when we compare it to the actual number of birds being smuggled. Adding that the smuggling of birds became a big network within illegal trade such as cannabis… etc. Illegal traders usually don’t go through the boarders themselves, but they have their workers smuggle the goods. “Most of the smugglers are female. For example, once we found that a woman was travelling with six girls, hiding 120 birds under their clothing” the former official stated. “Because of this, we hired female employees to inspect female passengers on the Al-Karama checkpoint, especially after we found out how big of a trade it was for them.”

~Grif

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William
William
8 months ago

If any of these Palestinians has to do time for their heinous crimes they won’t rank very high in the prison hierarchy. What are you in for? Robbery? murder? Terrorism? No, goldfinch smuggling. The Israelis should build a wall to stop this activity. Oh wait, they did. Guess it didn’t help

chemtrailssuck
8 months ago
Reply to  William

Nobody likes a stool-pigeon or anyone who sings like a…uh…canary…or goldfinch as the case may be. 🙂

chemtrailssuck
8 months ago

If any of these bird brain smugglers had any smarts, they’d raise them in captivity and sell the offspring.

William
William
8 months ago
Reply to  chemtrailssuck

That would take time and the BBS’s are after the quick buck. One thing they could try would be to disguise the goldfinches as common sparrows. There’s no black market for them. That I know of. Then they wouldn’t have to stuff them in their pants, they could carry them openly. Open carry as it were. Just a thought

chemtrailssuck
8 months ago
Reply to  William

Gives new meaning to the term, “flippin’ the bird”, eh?

Dr. Eowyn
Admin
8 months ago

The poor goldfinches. I wonder how many suffocated to death in the smugglers’ pants.

YouKnowWho
YouKnowWho
8 months ago

I heard a story from a former Soviet that they had a black market for burned out light bulbs. Seems you couldn’t find lightbulbs in stores. So you’d steal one from work. Only one thing though. Maintenance wouldn’t give you a new one if you didn’t have a burned out bulb. So you bought burned out bulbs from the maintenance guy (out back) and exchanged them for the good ones in your work area. He said just about everything worked that way. Thay was before the USSR disolved.