sudan map 248 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy )
The alleged Israeli air force strike on a weapons convoy in Sudan was a signal to Hamas and Iran that Israel had exposed their smuggling route, and that they should cease using it, a security analyst said on Thursday.
"If the reports are true, the strike will serve as a deterrent to the Iranians and to Hamas," Ephraim Kam, deputy-head of Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies, told The Jerusalem Post.
"This was a comfortable strike for Israel. Sudan cannot retaliate, and neither can Hamas or Iran," Kam said.
Security specialist and writer Gad Shimron said, "Sudan is a pro-Hamas hostile state, but they're in no position to respond. They're in over their heads with Darfur; the last thing they need is further complications."
Shimron, author of Mossad Exodus: The Daring Undercover Rescue of the Lost Jewish Tribe, entered Sudan in the mid-1980s with Mossad agents to facilitate the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in Operation Moses.
"The air force knows this place [eastern Sudan] well. It flew at low altitudes there during Operation Moses," Shimron stated.
"It's logical to assume that the weapons were tracked from the minute they left Iran," he said. "The Egyptian-Sudanese border is marked only by a dirt road," he added, noting that it was very easy for smugglers to enter Egypt on their way to the Sinai Peninsula.
Sudan was certainly embarrassed by the strike, Shimron said. "It's embarrassing for any country to absorb an attack in its territory. It shows weakness."
Recounting the Mossad operation in Sudan in 1984-5, Shimron said, "We entered Sudan pretending to be from other countries, and our cover story was that we were heading to a holiday resort to carry out renovations. It was like a Zionist James Bond mission. During the day we carried out renovations, and at nights we smuggled Jews to Israel."
Shimron said he did not know whether the Mossad still operated agents in Sudan, but noted that two Ethiopian Jews were sent by the Mossad to Sudan at the end of the 1980s to help facilitate the rescuing of more Jews.
The agents were captured by the Sudanese government, and were eventually released thanks to the intervention of the late British millionaire Tiny Rowland, who had good links with the Sudanese regime.