Egyptian Security seizes arms shipment en route to Hamas via northern Sinai

Palestinian, Ma’an news agency cites Egyptian security official saying that captured truck held Katyusha rockets and high-grade explosives.


Egyptian forces seized a truck carrying arms en route to the northern Sinai, a report by Palestinian news agency Ma’an said on Tuesday, adding that the vehicle carried Grad-type katyusha rockets as well as high-grade weapons.

Egyptian soldiers standing guard - Reuters - August 10, 2012.

Egyptian soldiers standing guard on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border, to from the Sinai peninsula over to Gaza, August 10, 2012. Photo by Reuters

Speaking to Ma’an, an Egyptian police commander in the northern Sinai said that three suspects were arrested in the incident, and that they were interrogated over the shipment.

Grad rockets have been repeatedly fired by militants in Gaza at Israeli towns in the western Negev, an issue over which Israel launched the eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense earlier this month.

In addition, rockets have also been fired at the southern Israeli city of Eilat by militants in the northern Sinai.

During attempts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas last week, Israeli officials indicated that they sought Egyptian and U.S. assurances that arms would no longer be smuggled into the Strip.

However, on Saturday, Reuters cited senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar as saying that Hamas would continue to arm itself with the help of Iran, though the truce signed in Cairo calls for a cessation of rocket fire at Israel, which Israel gave as its reason for launching its attacks in mid-November.

On Sunday, the Times of London cited Israeli officials saying that spy satellites spotted an Iranian ship being loaded with missiles that analysts say may be headed for Gaza.

According to the report, the cargo may include Fajr-5 rockets, like those that were fired by Hamas toward Israel and the stockpiles of which the Israel Defense Forces depleted during the recent round of fighting across the Gaza border, in addition to Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, which could be stationed in Sudan to pose a direct threat to Israel.


View original HAARETZ publication at: