The Israeli military claimed that weapon trafficking into Gaza through the Gaza-Egypt borders have significantly increased in recent days while the Palestinian Authority has done nothing to prevent it.
Israeli security sources claimed that “no one can estimate the actual number of tunnels operating in Rafah”, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Ten days ago, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza have increased greatly since the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September 2005.
He claimed that Palestinian security sources say smuggling has reached an unprecedented scope since there is no preventive activity on the Palestinian side.
The smuggled weapons, according to Diskin, include11 tons of TNT, 3 million rifle bullets, some 10,000 rifles, 1,600 guns, 65 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 430RPG shells and shoulder-launched missiles.
Besides weapons, the tunnels are used to smuggle electrical appliances, drugs and cigarettes, as well as terrorists wanted in Egypt, Diskin added.
He claimed that big families in Gaza, such as Al Sha’er, Al Jazzar, Al Qishta and Abu Samahdana, are renting their tunnels for “any group or clan that pays a higher price”, and that these tunnels are also used for smuggling cigarettes, electronic equipment and drugs.