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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

More TNT smuggled into Gaza in last ten months than in previous 38 years

Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin testified before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today, and the Jerusalem Post, HaAretz and YNet web sites all have chosen their headlines from his testimony. Here are my choices:

1. The amount of weapons and explosives smuggled into the Gaza Strip since disengagement last September is greater than the total amount smuggled into Gaza since the Six Day War. According to Diskin, since the IDF left Gaza, in September 2005, there were 11 tons of TNT, three million bullets, 19,600 rifles, 1,600 pistols, 65 RPG launchers, 430 RPGs and some 10 shoulder rocket launchers smuggled into Gaza. They have also smuggled in $20 million in cash, which has gone to Hamas' coffers.

2. World Jihad has begun building an ideological foothold in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem. World Jihad has an infrastructure in Jordan, but the Jordanian authorities are operating widely against the organization. It also has activities in Egypt, and Egypt has not managed to successfully combat World Jihad cells operating within Sinai. The Sinai peninsula is flooded with weapons smugglers.

3. Kassam fire is likely to continue.

4. Neither Fatah nor Hamas wants a civil war.

5. Hamas knows it has to find money to pay the 'Palestinian Authority's' employees' salaries. Ironically, most of the employees are Fatah loyalists. All 'Palestinian Authority' services are likely to collapse if Hamas does not get money. Diskin believes this is not in Israel's interest.

6. Concerning the three-day extension Abu Mazen gave Hamas to accept the 'Prisoners Document,' Diskin said that Abu Mazen had started something important, but that he "doesn't know how it would all end." Diskin stressed that Israel cannot interfere with proceedings.


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