In a security briefing before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday, Head of Israel’s General Security Services Yuval Diskin said that if the armament in Gaza will continue unabated, it will turn into a second Lebanon.
Diskin also said that since the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces from northern Samaria, the area has become “Islamic Jihad Land.” He said that there is a great difficulty working in that region since the withdrawal. “Not for nothing did the GSS oppose the unilateral withdrawal from northern Samaria,” Diskin said.
On the subject of the rearming, Diskin said that there is an increase of a hundredfold in the smuggling of weapons from Egypt into Gaza. According to him, since the withdrawal 15,000 assault weapons and 4,000,000 bullets were smuggled into Gaza. In addition, hand guns, rockets, dozens of anti-tank missiles, 15 tons of explosives, RPG launchers and 122 millimeter Katyusha rockets were smuggled across the border.
Diskin also said that the Palestinian terror groups are attempting to take after Hizballah and to create a balance of power against Israel by building bunkers and arming themselves with rockets and anti-tank missiles.
In regard to the Sinai, Diskin said it has turned into a haven for arms smugglers and warned that the threats from there, as well as from Gaza, could become a strategic problem for Israel.
Diskin revealed that the smugglers are bribing the Egyptian officers. The Egyptians are also ignoring the wanted persons list, and are allowing the entry of terror experts who were trained in Iran and are entering Gaza to upgrade their terrorist capabilities. Diskin blamed Egypt for not dealing with those problems and are not fighting the “smuggling barons” despite the fact they know who they are.
Diskin also added that the Fatah organization is in a state of deterioration because of lack of leadership. Abu Mazen does not know how to rebuild the organization, and the Hamas government is having a difficult time governing as well.