Arms smuggling to the Gaza Strip has increased as a result of the recent
upheaval in the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said
Speaking to reporters and members of the foreign diplomatic
corps in Israel, Ayalon said Iran and other enemy states had increased their
attempts to get weapons and ammunition to Hamas in Gaza, as part of their
efforts to exploit the lawlessness and uncertainty currently gripping the Sinai
Ayalon presented statistics showing that Israel’s recent
easing of restrictions had led to an economic growth of 9 percent in the West
Bank and 16% in the Gaza Strip.
“Israel aspires to continue the easing
measures,” he stated. “At the same time, the complexities of this region and the
recent dramatic changes have intensified the threat of arms smuggling that
endangers Israeli citizens in the southern and central parts of the
Ayalon took the opportunity to issue a call for assistance in
the fight against the armament of Hamas, saying, “We call on the international
community and all in the region who treasure life to join forces to prevent the
The rockets threaten not only Israeli citizens, but also
the citizens of the Gaza Strip who also long for a normal life.”
that “the continuation of the smuggling will interfere with Israel’s ability to
ease restrictions for Gaza residents.
All those who value life, whether
they are Egyptian, Tunisian, Jordanian, Israeli or Palestinian, together with
the international community, must stop the Iranian infiltration.”
about unilateral recognitions of Palestinian statehood, Ayalon said such moves
were “virtual” and “won’t change the reality on the ground. Whoever deludes the
Palestinians into thinking that they can establish a state unilaterally, without
negotiations, is diminishing the chances for peace and for a Palestinian
Ayalon held his briefing with Maj.- Gen. Eitan Dangot, head of
the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
the recent transfer of the conveyor belt shipping corridor at the Karni border
crossing with Gaza to the nearby Kerem Shalom crossing would not only increase
security for Israeli personnel, but allow the terminal to work more efficiently
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