Weapons (illustrative)
Weapons (illustrative) Israel news photo: Flash90

The Hamas terror group, which controls Gaza, recently refused to accept a shipment of missiles that were smuggled from Libya through the Sinai Peninsula, claiming the shipment included spying and tracking devices which would allow Israel to locate where the missiles are stored.

Elements involved in the arms smuggling in the Sinai told the Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabaa on Sunday that 28 long-range missiles were smuggled from Libya to the mountainous regions in central Sinai in recent days and from there were supposed to enter Gaza.

However, a day before the missiles were to be brought into Gaza through the underground smuggling tunnels, a Hamas missile expert came to inspect the missiles, finding spying and surveillance measures planted in them, the sources said.

It was also reported that Hamas severed ties with large weapons smugglers in the Sinai after finding that the weapons transferred from Libya were “infected” by spyware that allowed Israel to locate their storage place in Gaza.

Terrorists have taken advantage of the lawlessness in the Sinai since the ouster of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to smuggle rockets, missiles and other arms into Gaza. These arms come from Libya, where there is also lawlessness in the wake of the civil war which toppled former leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Two months ago Egyptian security forces seized U.S.-made anti-tank and surface-to-air missiles destined for Gaza.

Six missiles were found hidden in the Sinai after security forces were tipped off to the hiding place.

The activity against the weaponry smuggling is part of Egyptian-U.S. coordination, agreed upon in the discussions involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton two days before the end of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza last November.

Earlier in January Western sources revealed that Egypt had prevented three instances of large-scale smuggling of weapons into Gaza since the end of Operation Pillar of Defense.