Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Al Qaeda Takes Root in PA as Arabs Smuggle in 11 Tons of TNT

GSS chief Yuval Diskin told a Knesset committee that “World Jihad” was taking root in the PA. Smuggling has placed another 11 tons of TNT and 10,000 rifles at its disposal for attacking Israel.
By Scott Shiloh
First Publish: 6/7/2006, 3:27 PM / Last Update: 6/6/2006, 6:43 PM

Yuval Diskin, head of Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, also known as the Shin Bet, presented a sobering appraisal of Israel’s security situation since the disengagement last August to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

According to Diskin, weapons smuggling into Gaza has reached unprecedented proportions. Since the Israeli pullout which left the Egyptian-Gazan border in the hands of Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, Arab terrorists have succeeded in smuggling 11 tons of TNT into Gaza.

Aside from TNT, which vastly improves terrorists’ ability to manufacture more deadly Kassam rockets and explosive vests for suicide bombers, terrorists have smuggled massive quantities of other weapons across the Egypt-Gaza border.

Among the new weapons at the terrorists’ disposal were 10,000 rifles, 1600 pistols, RPGs, Katyushas, and shoulder-fired Strella missiles. The latter are capable of downing civilian aircraft. Some of the new weaponry entered Gaza via the Rafiah crossing with Egypt.

Prior to the disengagement, that crossing was manned by Israeli security personnel. Under a last-minute agreement brokered by the Americans, the Israeli presence at the crossing is limited to a closed-circuit video camera that sends a broadcast of persons entering the terminal to an IDF base at Nitzanim.

Diskin said the Egyptians were trying unsuccessfully to thwart the smuggling - though former Committee Chairman MK Yuval Shteinitz feels that the Egyptians have not even been trying. On the other hand, Diskin noted that Israel had been successful in preventing the terrorists from exporting experts and technical information from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.

As new weapons and other armaments flow into the PA, Diskin said, groups such as Al Qaeda, which promote World Jihad, have been taking root in PA strongholds in Gaza and Judea and Samaria.

In fact, Diskin told the committee, elements of the World Jihad in Sinai were responsible for intensifying the extent of weapons smuggling into Gaza. Egypt, he explained, was likewise ineffective in its efforts to curtail Al Qaeda, which has opened up a number of cells in the Sinai Peninsula. Overall, Diskin said, the Egyptians had a poor record in fighting terrorism.

Jordan, he said, has been more effective in countering Al Qaeda. Although the World Jihad has already set up an infrastructure in Jordan, Jordanian forces are active in combating it.