IAF jet great 224.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
As Israeli troops battled Palestinian gunmen during Operation Cast Lead in an attempt to end the rocket threat to southern Israel, IAF warplanes conducted a mission with similar objectives far from the front in the Gaza Strip, a CBS report revealed on Wednesday.
The report quoted unidentified American officials as saying that in January, Israeli warplanes bombed a convoy of trucks carrying arms destined for Hamas through Sudan.
"Israeli intelligence is said to have discovered that weapons were being trucked through Sudan, heading north toward Egypt, whereupon they would cross the Sinai Desert and be smuggled into Hamas-held territory in Gaza," the sources told CBS. "Israeli aircraft carried out the attack".
The IDF Spokesperson's Office said on Thursday morning that "Israel does not respond to publications such as this."
The attack reportedly killed 39 people and destroyed 17 trucks. Although Sudan has yet to officially blame - or even acknowledge - the strike, Sudanese State Minister for Highways Mabrouk Mubarak Saleem was quoted in the Sudanese Tribune this week as saying that a "major power bombed small trucks carrying arms, burning all of them." He added that the strike killed "Sudanese, Eritreans and Ethiopians, and injured others."
Since the end of the military operation in Gaza, Israel has been working with its partners in the international community to bolster measures to curb the flow of weapons into the Gaza Strip.
Two weeks ago, Israel welcomed an agreement by the US, Canada and seven European states to coordinate anti-smuggling efforts.
The US, Britain, Norway, Germany, France, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Denmark agreed that "noncoercive" methods would be used to clamp down on the arms flow. Such methods would utilize diplomatic, military, intelligence and law enforcement resources.