Israeli rocket victims sue Egypt

Tuesday, January 08, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Ten Israeli families from the battered southern town of Sderot have filed a lawsuit against Egypt over its failure to prevent Palestinian terrorists from smuggling weapons into the Gaza Strip via the Egyptian Sinai.

Despite sharing a border that is a mere 8-miles long with Gaza, Israeli security officials say huge quantities of rifles, rockets and high-grade explosives have made it past Egyptian forces into the Hamas-controlled coastal territory.

Those deadly imports have allowed Hamas and its allied terror groups to establish a terrorist infrastructure that is today the leading source of anti-Israel terrorism and the perpetrator of thousands of rocket attacks on Sderot and surrounding communities over the past five years.

The families participating in the lawsuit have all either lost loved ones or had family members wounded in those rocket attacks.

A lawyer representing the families wrote to the court that Egypt bears direct responsibility for those casualties because it could very easily thwart the smuggling of arms along such a short border.

When Israel surrendered control of the Gaza-Sinai border following the Gaza pullout in 2005 and the terrorist arms first began to flow unhindered across the frontier, Israeli opposition lawmaker Yuval Steinitz suggested that it was Egypt's policy to help the Palestinians to slowly bleed Israel.

Cairo reacted angrily last week after Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni voiced similar criticism of Egypt's failure to effectively control its border with Gaza and the detrimental effect it was having on peacemaking efforts with the Palestinians.

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