Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula intercepted a shipment of American-made anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles destined for the Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Ma'an and Egyptian media reported on Friday.

After receiving intelligence on the weapons shipment, the Egyptian Interior Ministry raided the location south of El-Arish, Ma'an reported.

According to the report, security forces discovered six US-manufactured missiles being prepared for smuggling into the Palestinian coastal strip. The missiles were 75cm long, with a 40cm diameter and a range of two kilometers, Ma'an reported.

Although not explicitly mentioned in the Israel-Hamas cease-fire agreement that ended hostilities between the two late last year, statements by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated that arrangements were being made with Egypt and the US to stymie the smuggling of materiel into Gaza.

Late last month, Egyptian armed forces foiled an attempt to smuggle 17 French-made TDI model rockets into the Gaza Strip, the Egypt Independent quoted an anonymous military source as saying.

According to the report, Egyptian military forces, in cooperation with local Bedouins, stopped the smuggling attempt in northern Sinai. The rockets intercepted were caliber 68 mm, which have a range of three kilometers.


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