Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sinai Becoming Haven For Terrorists According To Shin Bet Chief

The Haaretz reports that Yuval Diskin, director of the Shin Bet, has warned the members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the Sinai Peninsula - and the adjacent Gaza Strip - is becoming a haven for terrorists.
The situation is becoming so bad that he warns that:
"If we don't move to counter this smuggling, it will continue and create a situation in Gaza similar to the one in southern Lebanon."

The terrorist organization responsible for creating this terrorist stronghold? Hamas.
It seems that Hamas has learned from Hizbullah and tries to copy Hizbullah's strategy.

He said that evidence of this already exists population centers in Gaza, and in the construction of tunnels and bunkers used to conceal weapons and people.
Diskin made special mention of the large number of arms smugglers, saying that since Israel transferred control of the Egypt-Gaza border to Egypt a year ago, large amounts of weaponry have been taken into Gaza from Sinai.

He listed as examples some 15,000 light weapons and four million rounds of ammunition, guns, rockets, dozens of anti-tank missiles and launchers, 15 tons of explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and Katyusha rockets with a 20km range.

In short: they're smuggling just about everything into Gaza, except for "tanks and planes", as Diskin put it.

I'm wondering about how Israel could do something against this growing problem because if one thing is clear it's that Israel isn't going to accept another 'southern Lebanon' so to speak.
The problem, as always, is how to do something against it. It seems that Israel must win Egypt's full cooperation if she wants to ensure that no more weapons and other equipment are being smuggled into Gaza.
Will Egypt cooperate?