Israel demands Egyptian crackdown on Gaza weapons smuggling

Friday, September 16, 2005 | 
With weapons flowing across the now porous border from Egypt into Gaza, Israel has lodged a protest with Cairo. Officials say hundreds of assault rifles and pistols and thousands of bullets have been smuggled into Gaza, after Palestinians tore down the security fence. Terrorists can also cross into Egypt and from there head to the largely unfenced and unprotected border between the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula and Israel. Zvi Mazel, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, says the situation is grave. “If we know and we see that passage and infiltration of terrorists continue, weapons smuggling continues, we should react, we’ll have to react, absolutely,” Mazel told Israel Television. The last thing Israel wants is to go back into Gaza--a move that would raise tensions with both Egypt and the Palestinians. But Israel says it cannot allow Gaza to be flooded with weapons.

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