Egypt installs tunnel-detection devices

Cameras, sensors placed along Philadelphi; US reportedly stopped Israel raiding Iranian arms ship.

cyprus ship iran arms hamas 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
cyprus ship iran arms hamas 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Egypt began installing advanced cameras and sensors last week to help combat smuggling along the Philadelphi Corridor, Egyptian officials confirmed Saturday. "They started being installed two days ago," and Egyptian official told The Jerusalem Post. "We are installing them with the help of American, French and German experts." The equipment is being installed to help Egypt prevent "all kinds of smuggling," the source said. The sensors are capable of detecting digging or construction. Israel said it destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels during its three-week offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip but it is believed that many tunnels remain underneath the Philadelphi Corridor, while many of those destroyed are being rebuilt. Meanwhile the American Aviation Week magazine reported Sunday that the US prevented Israel from raiding an Iranian ship believed to be carrying weaponry and explosives for Hamas. According to the report, the Americans stopped the operation because they wanted to avoid an Iranian-Israeli confrontation. The Cypriot navy stopped the ship on Thursday, and Cypriot officials said that it was carrying hundreds of tons of explosives. On Friday, Cypriot authorities said they would conduct a second search of a cargo ship. Suspicions that the Iranian ship was ferrying arms from Iran to Hamas were raised by the US, after the Sixth Fleet conducted a search of the ship in the Gulf of Aden and discovered munitions. The ship continued on to Egypt, then headed for Cyprus, where it remains anchored off the coast of the port of Limassol under tight marine police security. Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou said Saturday that a first inspection of the Monchegorsk was complete. He said authorities were still trying to determine whether the ship's cargo contravened United Nations resolutions. The Cyprus Mail newspaper quoted military officials as saying that the boat was carrying hundreds of tons of explosives and that authorities were considering moving the vessel to Larnaca Port. Israeli defense officials said Saturday that intelligence indicated that the ship was carrying explosives and weaponry. "It has loads of weaponry for Hamas," one official said. "We don't believe that there is anything on the boat that Hamas did not have in the past but it is still worrisome." Brenda Gazzar contributed to this report