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      IDF Stops Sinai Bedouin Drug Smugglers

      IDF troops stopped five Sinai Bedouin drug smugglers from reaching their destination after they infiltrated Israel's southern border on Saturday.
      By Hana Levi Julian
      First Publish: 6/27/2010, 10:28 AM / Last Update: 6/27/2010, 10:39 AM

      IDF troops stopped a group of five Sinai Bedouin drug smugglers from reaching their destination after they infiltrated Israel's southern border on Saturday.

      According to IDF sources, soldiers shot two of the group after they refused to halt on command. One died on the way to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva, and the second was admitted and is listed in stable condition. The other three other smugglers were arrested in the incident.

      Last week, Egyptian security forces also shot two Bedouin tribesmen in the El-Omar Valley, near the El-Auja border crossing with Israel. The two were taken for treatment to a hospital in El-Arish.

      The two were allegedly involved in an attack by Bedouin bandits on a convoy of security vehicles that were idling at the crossing. Local eyewitnesses complained to The Examiner, however, that police had fired rocket-propelled grenades at buildings in villages near El-Omar.

      Bedouin tribes in the northern Sinai have turned increasingly to smuggling drugs, food and weapons for the various terrorist groups in Gaza.

      The Israel Counter Terrorism Bureau issued an unusually severe alert to citizens several months ago, warning that terrorist groups were operating in the Sinai Peninsula and planning to kidnap and murder Israelis. Shortly thereafter, members of a group of Hizbullah, Lebanese, Egyptian, Sudanese and Palestinian Authority terrorists were arrested by Egyptian security forces and subsequently convicted in Cairo on charges of planning attacks against Israeli tourists and smuggling Iranian weapons into Gaza.