Israeli border policemen and soldiers arrested, on Thursday morning, 20 Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip attempting to enter Israel through the border with Egypt, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

The arrested residents said that they left the Gaza Strip through the Philadilphi Route, along the border with Egypt.

Israel transferred the arrested residents for interrogation “in order to decide whether they attempted to enter Israeli to carry out attacks, or seeking work”, an Israeli security source reported.

After the Israeli army withdrew from the Gaza Strip, and the collapse of the Gaza-Egypt border thousands of residents crossed the Egyptian borders, and entered the Egyptian Rafah to meet their relatives, dozens of Egyptians also entered the Strip. 

The Israeli intelligence claims that Palestinian resistance factions have been trying over the last few days to smuggle arms into the Gaza Strip through the border with Egypt.

The source added that Egypt is to blame for “failing to maintain even minimal supervision over the border”.

“Egypt is already having trouble with Al Qaida cells in Sinai” the source said, “the cells were so far unable to infiltrate into Israel”.

Israel fears that Al Qaida will “renew its efforts to send its operatives to Gaza from Sinai, and then to the West Bank”. 

Haaretz author, Ze’ev Schiff, reported that Al Qaida members have a training base in Halayil mountain area, 40 kilometers from Al Arish Egyptian city, which borders Gaza.

Schiff said that the members surrounded their training base with landmines.

Meanwhile, Palestinian and Egyptian security officials promised on Wednesday to close the border 18hours, but had to delay until midnight as a result of the huge number of residents who crossed on both sides. Senior P.A officials said that Egypt and the P.A might need a few days to fully control the situation and stop unauthorized crossings.

The opening of the border helped hundreds of Palestinian families to reunite in both sides of Rafah.

Israel claims that the Palestinian police did not attempt to stop Hamas fighters from blasting through the border wall. 

Also, an Israeli security source said that by the time Egyptian troops controls the situation at the border “a large quantity of weapons will have been already smuggled into Gaza from the Sinai”.

The source claimed that Palestinian resistance factions have been stockpiling a large supply of weapons in Sinai over the last few months. 

Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, called on the P.A and Egypt to control the Gaza border immediately, and close it for “illegal infiltrations”.

Mofaz stated on Wednesday that Israeli had given Egypt and the P.A “very firm warnings” for the “lack of supervision” across the border along the Philadilphi Route.