"I will bring the issue of the understandings on the Philadelphi Route up with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her anticipated visit to the region. The situation necessitates us to reopen the understandings on this issue," said Olmert after hearing from Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin that some 19 tons of explosives used to upgrade Qassams in addition to dozens of rifles have been smuggled from Egypt since the disengagement.
However, Olmert asked that the criticism of Egypt be toned down, apparently in light of Egypt’s involvement in the efforts to release kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.
“I supported (former prime minister) Ariel Sharon in his decision to withdraw from the Philadelphi Route, and I still believe it was the right move, but we definitely must deal with the smuggling issue,” the PM said.
Earlier Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said the smuggling issue should be dealt with at the highest levels.
“We must do this in a comprehensive manner by way of the US and Europe, and, if there is a need to do so, through the UN Security Council,” Dichter said.