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Sinai Bedouin Smuggling ‘Thousands’ of Missiles to Gaza

Sinai Bedouin report they have smuggled “thousands” of shoulder-launched missiles into Hamas-controlled Gaza, probably from Libya.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 1/17/2012, 3:06 PM

shoulder-fired anti-tank missile
shoulder-fired anti-tank missile
Univ. of Virginia

Sinai Bedouin report they have smuggled “thousands” of shoulder-launched missiles into Hamas-controlled Gaza. The missiles were probably taken from Libya last summer during the revolt against Muammar Qaddafi.

"We have smuggled thousands of shoulder-launched (surface-to-air) SAM missiles to Gaza through the tunnels for a transporting fee only," a Bedouin tribal leader told CNN.

Numbering about 500,000 in the Sinai, Bedouin have staked out several areas where they effectively rule, and CNN’s Bedouin source from the Tarabeen tribe said a large amount of weapons are being held in the local area to fight the Egyptian regime.

"We saved some for us ... stockpiles of RPGs, machine guns. And I personally have ten 14.5 mm anti-aircraft guns that I bought at $12,000 a piece. We have declared war against the military and will not wait for them to kill us all," he said.

It is no secret that smugglers’ transport advanced weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, into Gaza through underground tunnels, but the amount claimed by the Bedouin source indicates that Hamas and allied terrorists possess far more weapons than the IDF has publicly announced.

Military sources have warned since the end of the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign three years ago that it is probably a matter of time before Hamas escalates its war on Israel and uses medium-range missiles that can reach metropolitan Tel Aviv.

In addition to Bedouin, Al Qaeda-linked terrorist cells have infiltrated into the Sinai and pose a growing threat both to Bedouin rulers and the Egyptian regime, a common enemy,

Bedouin leaders met last Friday and accused the regime of treason and of staging "forged parliamentary elections" they claim have left them as second-class citizens for years,

A prominent Bedouin blogger, Musad Abu Fajr, was quoted by CNN as saying, "The military junta has committed treason against Egypt. They forgot how we assisted them against the Israelis in the 1973 war for Sinai.”

Bedouin have said they have evidence that the regime burned several ballot boxed in Bedouin areas, and  that a re-run of voting was ordered in the southern Sinai.

Clashes erupted last week between Egyptian soldiers and a Bedouin tribe over ownership of land.