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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mediocre weapons smuggling blockers

On a day when Egypt claims to have destroyed a weapons smuggling tunnel near Rafah in the Gaza Strip, Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin accuses Egypt of allowing Palestinian militants to smuggle tons of weapons into the Gaza Strip since Israel withdrew from the coastal area last year. Both Egypt and Diskin seem to be correct.
Police discovered the tunnel Wednesday near Karm Salem, less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Rafah crossing point, Capt. Mohammed Amin said. No arrests were made in the operation and police later detonated explosives in the tunnel to block it up.

On Tuesday, Palestinian security forces discovered two underground tunnels along the Gaza Strip border with Egypt. Only one reached Egypt and officials sealed it later in the day.
But this is apparently the proverbial drop in the bucket:
"The Egyptians know who the smugglers are and don't deal with them," Diskin told a Cabinet meeting, according to a participant in the meeting. "They received intelligence on this from us and didn't use it."

Since Israel withdrew from Gaza a year ago, militants have smuggled 19 tons of weapons and explosives into the strip from Egypt, Diskin said. Egypt and the Palestinians have controlled the border since Israel withdrew.

"We're talking about an escalation that is endangering us," Diskin told the ministers, according to the participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss security matters with the press.
You can add that to the list of reasons why surrendering Gaza was a stupid idea. For the record, the Egyptians insist that they are doing the best they can:
But the representative to Egyptian parliament for Rafah, Fayez Abu Harb, took issue with the intelligence chief's comments, calling them "lies propagated by Shin Bet." "Egypt respects its commitments and international agreements with its neighbors, and protects its borders as a matter of national security," he said, mentioning that Egypt has discovered several tunnels and seized many caches of contraband from them in recent years.
I guess the Egyptians are too busy trying to acquire nuclear weapons to deal with finding and destroying conventional ones.


At 6:17 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

The answer to the "Egyptian problem" is to make them responsible for the Gazans.

How? By slowly moving the Northern Gaza border south in response to the rocket attacks. Squeeze them into Egypt. Very slowly.

BTW you might find this of interest:



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