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Egypt Prevented 3 Attempts to Smuggle Weapons into Gaza

Sources: Egypt has prevented three instances of smuggling of weapons into Gaza since Operation Pillar of Defense.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 1/2/2013, 5:12 AM

Border with Egypt
Border with Egypt
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Western sources have revealed that Egypt has prevented three instances of large-scale smuggling of weapons into Gaza since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israel Defense website reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the activity against the weaponry smuggling is part of Egyptian-U.S. coordination, agreed upon in the discussions involving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton two days before the end of the operation.

Western sources said that the agreement includes assistance with U.S. technological measures made available for Egyptian use, and intelligence cooperation in order to counter the smuggling of weapons.

Israel and the U.S. now expect that Egypt will do everything against the smuggling of weapons through Egyptian territory into Gaza, reported Israel Defense.

According to the sources, Egyptian forces have foiled at least three instances to transfer significant quantities of weapons, two of which originated from Libya, and another from Iran through Sudan.

Last week Egyptian media reported that the country's armed forces in the northern Sinai, in cooperation with local Bedouins, foiled an attempt to smuggle 17 rockets to Gaza.

A military source told the agency that the rockets are a French-made TDI model, caliber 68 mm, range three kilometers ​​and can be used air to land or land to land.

Earlier this month Italian police seized a shipment of weapons intended for Egypt with a final destination of Gaza.

The weapons, which included a rocket launcher, were part of a shipment that was supposed to go on an Egyptian ship which was detained by local authorities. Italian media reported that the information about the weapons came from Israel.

Israel has accused Iran of being behind the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Most recently the Jewish State was fingered for a mysterious bombing at a military factory in Khartoum, Sudan.

The October 23 strike on the Yarmouk compound led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured at the factory in Khartoum.

Sudan has denied Iranian involvement in weapons manufacturing and has accused Israel of "spreading fabricated information".