Arab Spring Bountiful Summer of Arms in Gaza
The “Arab Spring” that rocked Arab countries from one end of the Middle East to the other has proved to be a bonanza in weapons supplies for the terrorists of Gaza.
Military analyst Ron Ben Yishai last week wrote in an op-ed in the Israeli Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot that the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups in Gaza have been particular beneficiaries.
The fall of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, wrote Ben-Yishai, allowed them and others to smuggle in huge quantities of arms through the border.
Since Mubarak's ouster, Egypt has suspended the U.S.-assisted construction of the underground steel barrier that was to have put an end to the smuggling tunnels under the border with Gaza.
The Supreme Military Council that is serving as the country's transitional government has also since dropped any effort to stop the construction of new tunnels by Hamas.
Control over the Sinai Peninsula has essentially been ceded to the Bedouin tribes who live there, and whose livelihood depends on smuggling. As a result of all this, contends Ben-Yishai, arms are flooding into Gaza.
“Everything that has been sent by the Iranians and their emissaries in recent years and was hidden by the Bedouins – who waited for an opportunity to pass it over to Hamas under Egypt's nose – has flowed freely into Gaza in the past five months,” he wrote.
“Meanwhile, new shipments arrived and were transferred to Hamas and Islamic Jihad without delay and or [even] a need to hide them.”
According to “highly credible sources,” Ben-Yishai added, Gaza's terrorist organizations today possess some 10,000 missiles of varying ranges.
The cache is similar to that of the arsenal held by Hizbullah prior to the 2006 Second Lebanon War.