Photo: AP
Smugglers tunnel at Philadelphi route
Photo: AP
Crack down necessary. Condoleezza Rice
Photo: AP

US may cut financial aid to Egypt

US Senate to vote on freezing $200m annual aid in attempt to pressure Egypt to crack down on weapons smuggling to Gaza

WASHINGTON - The United States Senate asked US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday to pressure Egypt into taking harsher actions against weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip.


Thirty-two senators presented the secretary of state with a letter calling to push the Egyptians into taking harsher measures against those smuggling weapons to Hamas, and saying Egypt must insist Hamas stops firing Qassam rockets at Israel.


"As violence escalates and more and more people take up arms in Gaza, this is a critical moment for us to stop weapons from being smuggled into the area and rockets being fired at Israel.


"Doing nothing would only help increase the violence and killing," the letter said.


The letter includes data – supplied by Israel – suggesting that there are currently 20,000 guns, 38 long-rage rockets, 12 anti-aircraft missiles and 410 anti-tank rockets with 95 corresponding launchers in Gaza.


The Senate is to vote on a $1.3 billion US financial aid package to Egypt for 2008 and is considering freezing $200 million of those funds pending Rice's report on any progress made in the Egyptian legal system, especially in regards to weapons smuggling and human right issues.


פרסום ראשון: 06.21.07, 20:11
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