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Posts Tagged ‘smuggling tunnels’

Egypt Crushes Hamas, Plans All-Out War on Sinai Terrorists

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The Egyptian military has demolished hundreds of smuggling tunnels from Hamas-controlled Gaza to the Sinai Peninsula and is preparing for an all-out onslaught against Hamas, Al Qaeda and other terrorists in the Sinai, Egyptian media reported Sunday.

The Egyptian offensive is a political and military shock to Hamas, with reverberations in Ramallah and Washington, on the eve of yet another attempt by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to re-ignite the “peace process.”

“The reduction in smuggling will make it difficult for Hamas to maintain the level of its revenues, and therefore it will be hard pressed to contain the protests against its rule,” according to the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS). “It will also be difficult to infiltrate weapons into Gaza, mainly enhanced rockets and surface-to-surface missiles.”

The Egyptian Aswat Masriya media outlet reported that 805 tunnels along the smuggling route, centered in the border city of Rafiah, were destroyed.  It said that most of the tunnels have been used to smuggle fuel into Gaza.

The Egyptian army will also close the Rafiah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip “indefinitely,” an official source told Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm. It closed the Rafiah crossing and placed a severe siege on Hamas on Friday but without a peep from the international community, which still condemns Israel for the maritime embargo that is aimed at preventing the import of terrorists and weapons from the sea.

Terrorists in Rafiah targeted a military checkpoint Saturday, but no casualties were reported, and Egypt opened the Rafiah border crossing for four hours Saturday to allow humanitarian cases to cross the border.

The tunnels have been a key route for terrorists to travel freely back and forth to the Sinai Peninsula and establish terrorist outposts aimed at staking out bases for attack on Egyptian tourist areas, such as El Arish, as well as urban areas.

The army killed at least five terrorists on Friday, but Egyptian media reported a larger-scale offensive is in the works after an attempted assassination of Second Field Army commander Maj. Gen. Ahmed Wasfy on Wednesday. Egypt is using heavy arms and warplanes, maneuvers that are prohibited under the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty of 1979 without Israel’s approval.

With the unstable and radical anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood out of power, thanks to the military “impeachment” or coup – take your pick – Israel is not blocking any offense,

“Security sources confirmed that Israel does not mind that the Egyptian forces use heavy artillery and warplanes during the operation which is expected to start very soon” military sources confirmed to the official television on Saturday.

Official added, “The army had decided to cleanse the Sinai of armed gangs and terrorists “The operation will continue until it reaches its objectives, which are not only military but also aim to develop the Sinai.”

The Egyptian Air Force on Saturday sent in two Apache helicopters to gun down jihadists after it received intelligence information that they were hiding in olive groves and preparing to attack military checkpoints.

On Friday, an Egyptian helicopter was seen in the skies over Gaza for the first time since the Six-Day War in 1967.

The Hamas terrorist organization is an offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and therefore is a natural enemy of the military that ousted Mohammed Morsi two weeks ago. Hamas has denied Egyptian military claims that its soldiers jailed 32 Hamas terrorists and arrested dozens others in the Sinai Peninsula last week.

Hamas figuratively shot itself in the head last August when it mounted a severe attack on the Egyptian army, killing 16 soldiers near Rafiah in a multi-pronged attack that was intended to continue into Israel but was foiled at the last minute by the IDF.

Ever since, Hamas has been an undeclared enemy of Egypt, and even the Morsi regime was suspicious of it.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority also is benefiting from Hamas’ miseries but is suppressing its joy because Hamas has widespread support among Arabs in Judea and Samaria who are fed up with chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Any moves by the Secretary of State Kerry to win some kind of a forum between Israeli and Palestinian Authority are a useless exercise without the inclusion of Gaza.

Another fallout of the offensive against Hamas might be negative for Israel in the near-term.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Report: Egypt in Undeclared War on Hamas, Kills 30, Arrests 200

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Egypt’s de facto interim military regime has attacked Hamas terrorists in the Sinai, killing more than 30 and placing approximately 200 others under arrest, according to the often reliable London-based Arabic-language al-Hayat newspaper

It quoted an Egyptian security official as admitting that the military is far from controlling the virtual anarchy that has reigned in the Sinai since the beginning of the revolutionary movement against the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Even though the Muslim Brotherhood founded the Hamas movement as an offspring, the ousted government of Mohammed Morsi was wary of Hamas, which is rivaled by other Islamic terrorist groups who are dead-set on creating chaos in Egypt as well as in Israel.

Dozens of terrorists from the Muslim Brotherhood movement, incensed by the military ouster of Morsi and the subsequent massacre of dozens of Muslim Brotherhood supports,  have joined Hamas terrorists in the Sinai.

“They enter Sinai through the tunnels to carry out attacks, along with others, and then return to Gaza through the tunnels. They take advantage of the surface and hide in the mountains,” he was quoted as saying.

Terrorist in the Sinai have frequently attacked Egyptian soldiers, killing more than dozen in one onslaught and kidnapping seven others as recently as last May.

The ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood is, so far, the best of both worlds for Israel. Still hated by most Egyptian leaders as well as the people, Israel can rely on a more stable government, democratically elected or not, than the Morsi regime that was running the country into the ground and creating a fertile ground for terrorists to exploit a vacuum of political strength.

Israel now has an undeclared ally against Hamas and is allowing Cairo to deploy heavy arms in the Sinai, a move which requires Israel approval as outlined in the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979.

TIME quoted Washington Institute for Near East Policy David Makovsky on Thursday as saying, “Israel sees the Egyptian military as a pro-peace lobby inside the Egyptian political system.”

There is one big and dirty fly in the ointment for Israel. What would happen if Hamas were to collapse in Gaza and Fatah, headed by chairman Mahmoud Abbas, were to rule as it did before the Hamas coup in 2007?

The division of Judea and Samaria from Gaza , both politically and geographically, makes a Palestinian Authority country virtually impossible. If Abbas were to regain popularity there,  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union would have the ammunition to load up the guns of the “peace process” again.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hamas Brings Tunnel Smuggling Know-How to Syrian Rebels

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Hamas has joined the Syrian rebels and has introduced its tunnel smuggling expertise while training rebels and fighting with them against its former ally Syrian President Bashar Assad, The London Times reported Friday.

Quoting anonymous Western sources, the newspaper stated, “The Qassam Brigades have been training units very close to Damascus. These are specialists. They are really good.”

Hamas reportedly is helping rebels build tunnels for weapons to be used on an assault on Damascus, Assad’s stronghold.

Syria hosts half a million Arabs classified by the United Nations as “Palestinian refugees,” whose support for Hamas would bolster its strength against its rival Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas denied the report and explained that one of its members who was killed outside Damascus last summer had left the terrorist organization.

Hamas’ London-based official Osama Hamdan stated, “We don’t interfere in the internal problems of Syria. Our members there are normal civilians, Syrian Palestinians, who live with their families there.”

However, it is “common knowledge” that Hamas agents are fighting with he rebels in refugee camps, according to a source in Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp

Sources also told the London newspaper that Qatar, which has donated a quarter of a billion dollars to Hamas in Gaza and has promised more, may have persuaded Hamas to join the civil war.

De facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in Cairo in February, almost at the same time the Emir of Qatar paid an historic visit to Gaza, “I salute all the nations of the Arab Spring and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Hamas: Egypt Never Steered Us into Peace with Israel

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

As was reported by countless news sources, the main reason cited by Secretary of State John Kerry for endowing Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi with close to $200 million to solve his immediate budgetary issues was “to encourage the work that he did with Israelis in getting the Gaza cease-fire.” Kerry was referring to an Egyptian-mediated truce that ended eight days of fighting in November between Israel and Hamas.

But on Thursday, a Hamas official spokesman announced that Egypt never asked Hamas to abandon its armed struggle against Israel.

“Hamas will not leave the armed struggle, and will not respond to this fabricated news,” Salah al-Bardawil told Ma’an.

This could very well be an attempt on the part of Hamas to make things a bit harder for Morsi in his recent flirtation with U.S. foreign policymakers. From where Hamas is standing, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have given them nothing but trouble in recent months.

Ynet reported on Thursday that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood leadership and Morsi have been telling Hamas: Take an example from us, and “implement jihad in other ways.”

“The Egyptian leadership knows quite well that it is unacceptable to ask the Palestinian people to abandon their key tool to defeat the occupation,” al-Bardawil said.

In fact, since early February, the Egyptian Army, with or without the consent of the Brotherhood, has been flooding, with sewer water, the smuggling tunnels through which millions of dollars in goods and military equipment are imported into Gaza with import fees going into the Hamas coffers.

The Egyptian government said it was cutting arms smuggling that was destabilizing the Sinai peninsula, but it also cut a lifeline to the enclave’s blockaded residents.

Still, the Hamas official spokesman said the media campaign in Egypt and Israel is attacking the leadership both in Cairo and Gaza. The Egyptian opposition wants to undermine the Muslim Brotherhood by portraying Hamas as a burden to Egypt’s security, he said.

Al-Bardawil said the tunnel network was a response to exceptional circumstances due to Israel’s blockade, but insisted it did not undermine Egypt’s security.

Hamas seeks to preserve Egypt’s security as it maintains Palestine’s security, he added.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-egypt-never-stirred-us-into-peace-with-israel/2013/03/07/

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