Egypt destroys weapons tunnel

IDF says cross-border smuggling has increased considerably.

September 27, 2006 18:49
1 minute read.
Egypt destroys weapons tunnel

idf tunnel 298.88. (photo credit: IDF)

Egyptian security forces destroyed a tunnel used to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip, police said on Wednesday. Police discovered the tunnel Wednesday near Karm Salem, less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Rafah crossing point, Capt. Mohammed Amin said. No arrests were made in the operation and police later detonated explosives in the tunnel to block it up. On Tuesday, Palestinian security forces discovered two underground tunnels along the Gaza Strip border with Egypt. Only one reached Egypt and officials sealed it later in the day. Since Israel pulled out of Gaza last summer, turning control of the border over to Egypt and the Palestinians, the IDF has said that cross-border smuggling of weapons and explosives has increased considerably. Chief of Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, on Wednesday accused Egypt of allowing Palestinian gunmen to smuggle 19 tons of weapons and explosives into the Gaza Strip since Israel withdrew from the coastal area last year. "The Egyptians know who the smugglers are and don't deal with them," Diskin said at a Cabinet meeting. "They received intelligence on this from us and didn't use it." But the representative to Egyptian parliament for Rafah, Fayez Abu Harb, took issue with the intelligence chief's comments, calling them "lies propagated by Shin Bet." "Egypt respects its commitments and international agreements with its neighbors, and protects its borders as a matter of national security," he said, mentioning that Egypt has discovered several tunnels and seized many caches of contraband from them in recent years.

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