Hamas press conference 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Egyptian security forces are on high alert in Sinai because of
information about planned Palestinian rocket attacks from Egypt on
They are investigating reports of plans to smuggle rockets from
Gaza into Egypt and then fire them into Israel, officials said. So far,
rockets have turned up.
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The officials say hundreds of police and private
agents been deployed along the border, at entry points to Sinai and along
checkpoints. According to Channel 1, Egyptian forces were chasing after a
Palestinian terror cell through Sinai.
Israeli defense officials said
that they were closely watching events in the Sinai Peninsula, which has been
used in the past by Hamas to fire rockets into Israel, particularly
Last week, the US Embassy in Jordan warned of an imminent threat
around the port of Aqaba, which while not explained was understood as possibly
connected to the increased terror alert in Sinai, where Egyptian security forces
are said to be hunting down Hamas terrorist cells.
intelligence assessments in Israel, Hamas has made a strategic decision to
increase its terrorist attacks against Israel – in the West Bank as well as from
the Gaza Strip – to torpedo the Israel- Palestinian Authority peace
While Hamas is not always directly behind the attacks it is
allowing proxies that it supports and which are affiliated with global jihad
elements to launch rockets and mortars into Israel. Hamas, however, has
restrained them from carrying out larger attacks.
Sinai is a convenient
launch pad for attacks on Israel since it grants the terrorist groups a degree
of deniability. If rockets are fired from Gaza, Hamas is automatically blamed.
If they are launched from Sinai, Israel would not immediately be able to accuse
Hamas and would have to rely on intelligence services to verify that the
Palestinian terrorist group was involved.
Meanwhile, a top Hamas security
official was arrested at Cairo airport for using falsified travel documents,
Egyptians officials said on Sunday.
Muhammad Dababish’s relatives said he
was returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia when he was
Dababish is a top official in Hamas’s internal security unit,
which oversees intelligence matters in Gaza. According to Hamas’s news media,
Dababish, also known as Abu Radwan, is responsible for the group’s general
security, intelligence operations and weapon and equipment smuggling into
Hamas threatened that Dababish’s arrest would lead to a
deterioration in relations with Egypt and called for his release, according to
Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
“We will operate in a manner which will
force the Egyptian leadership to release Abu Radwan,” Hamas said in a
Egypt has arrested a string of Hamas figures since one of its
soldiers was killed in a border shooting early this year, including the son of a
Hamas cabinet minister last month.
Egypt believes a Hamas sniper was
responsible for the shooting.
Dababish was on a wanted list for
falsified travel documents to enter and leave Egypt, the officials
He was also questioned about an illegal shipment of
interdicted by police in Sinai and apparently destined for Gaza, they
added.Jerusalem Post staff
contributed to this report.