(photo credit: AP)
Egypt's foreign minister said in remarks published Wednesday that his government would not allow Israel to bomb areas along the Egypt-Gaza border where Israel has uncovered hundreds of underground tunnels used by Palestinians to smuggle weapons into Gaza.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit told the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that any Israeli bombing in the so-called Philadelphi Corridor would violate international treaties.
"If this were to happen, it would be considered a breach of all the Palestinian-Israeli agreements. It is not possible that we would accept that or let it pass as if nothing happened," he was quoted as saying.
Aboul Gheit also denied Egypt was responsible for any cross-border smuggling.
His comments came a day after he told reporters in Cairo that Egypt could handle security on the Egypt-Gaza border.
"Egypt's border with Gaza is a matter of sovereignty between Egypt and the Palestinians," Aboul Gheit said. He proposed building surveillance towers and sending more Egyptian patrols to the border area.
Israel has complained Egypt has not done enough to halt the arms flow into Gaza; weapons that Israeli officials say are used in attacks against it.
Egypt took control of security along the Egypt-Gaza border a year ago, after signing an agreement with Israel to take responsibility for preventing arms smuggling along the corridor.