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Egypt Seizes U.S.-Made Weapons Meant for Gaza

Egyptian security forces have seized U.S.-made anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles destined for Gaza, security officials say.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 1/4/2013, 9:32 PM

Egyptian soldiers in Sinai
Egyptian soldiers in Sinai
AFP photo

Egyptian security forces have seized U.S.-made anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles destined for Gaza, security officials said on Friday.

According to AFP, the officials said six missiles were found hidden in the Sinai, which borders both Gaza and Israel, after security forces were tipped off to the hiding place.

Sinai, a scarcely populated peninsula home to both lucrative tourist resorts in the south and terrorists in the north, is a major transit point for arms smuggling to Gaza.

Friday's report comes several days after Western sources revealed that Egypt has prevented three instances of large-scale smuggling of weapons into Gaza since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense.

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.

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.

Last 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".

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)