“The weapons are smuggled by private gangs, but with full knowledge of the authorities of these countries,” a military source said. “There’s no secret here.”
The sources said arms dealers purchase AK-47 assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), rocket and missile components, ammunition, and explosives in Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. From these countries, the supplies are shipped to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and then smuggled over the border into the Gaza Strip or Israel.
In 2004 alone, about 10,000 automatic rifles and 1,000 RPG antitank weapons were smuggled in. The Palestinians are digging additional tunnels both for smuggling weapons and perpetrating terrorist attacks.
Over the past year, Israel has destroyed numerous tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border used for smuggling. Egypt, which has a peace treaty with Israel, does nothing to curtail this illegal activity. When Israel acts against this violation of her border, she gets criticized, while the critics say nothing about the arms smuggling or Egypt’s turning a blind eye to such activity.
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