Rafah smuggling tunnel
Photo: AFP

Report: Hamas refuses missile shipment fearing espionage

Egyptian paper says Islamist terror group recently refused to accept shipment of long-range missiles from Libya after preliminary examination allegedly found spy gear inside

The Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabea reported Sunday that Hamas had recently refused to accepted an arms shipment faring it may contain Israeli tracking devices.


According to the report, the shipment, which originated in Libya, was meant to arrive in Gaza Strip via the Sinai Peninsula.


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Hamas turned it down, alleging that the shipment was harboring "Israeli tracking devices and spy gear" that the IDF would be able to use to locate both the shipment and its handlers.


The report quoted a source "closely affiliate with arms traffickers in Sinai" as saying that the shipment contained 28 long-range missiles.


The missiles were supposed to make their way into Gaza via one of the underground smuggling tunnels running between Rafah and the Strip, but a Hamas weapons expert, who rendezvoused with the smugglers in Egypt decided to refuse it.


Al-Youm Al-Sabea quoted its source as saying that the expert – a senior operative of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas military wing, found tracking devices hidden in it.


Hamas, the reported added, recently severed its ties with a large number of arms traffickers based in Sinai, after finding that they had "divulged details of their ties with Hamas to the authorities." The report did not name the authorities in question.


The report stressed that despite Hamas assumption in the matter, the origin of the spy gear found on the shipment is unknown.


Other sources quoted by the Egyptian daily expressed concern that the leaks found in Hamas' weapons acquisition operation may place the lives of Egyptian smugglers at risk, should the Islamist terror group decide that they are trying to spy on its operations or infiltrate their networks in Libya and Sudan.


The report further said that senior commanders in Hamas vowed that "the incident will not remain unpunished."



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פרסום ראשון: 03.03.13, 23:09
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