Våpen fra Libya finner veien til Gaza-stripen, og Sinai er blitt en tomleplass for jihadister som har kommet overens med bedouinene. Israel er bekymret.
The past months of unrest have already seen a flood of weaponry seized from Col Muammar Gadaffi’s troops and army stores into the increasingly volatile Egyptian Sinai.
Israeli military intelligence reports that much of the smuggled arsenal has been looted by jihadist elements and is making its way into Gaza through the tunnels at Rafah.
A senior Israeli official confirmed on Monday that while the majority of Gaza’s arsenal comes from Iran via Sudan, a rise in arms arriving from Libya is “an additional preoccupation”.
Israel har lenge vært bekymret for Sinai. Egypt har mer enn nok med sine indre problemer, og kan ikke forentes å kunne ordne opp.
Hundreds of Grad missiles, with ranges of 60-70 miles, shorter range rockets, guns and ammunition from Libya are already thought to have arrived in Gaza. The same stock is also supplying militant Islamic groups currently battling Egyptian security forces in the Sinai.
In recent months, a salafist cell calling itself the ‘al Qaeda of Sinai’, has taken control of large swathes of the Egyptian peninsula, having forged strong ties with Bedouin communities there. Israel believes this group is affiliated with the terrorists responsible for last Thursday’s terror attacks in Eilat.
Boaz Ganor, Director of the Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Tel Aviv, said: “Sinai has become a freeway of arms into Gaza from various sources. It’s clear Egypt isn’t doing enough [to stop this]. It wasn’t under Mubarak and it certainly isn’t now.
“They are preoccupied by other problems in Cairo. Egyptian military intelligence is concerned with internal security and Sinai has become a no-man’s land. It is a heaven for terror organisations, for training, deployment and smuggling purposes.”
Despite concerns over the Tripoli unrest, Israel wished rebels a swift victory over Gaddafi, “a clown who was sometimes ridiculous but dangerous”.
Looted Libyan arms flooding into Gaza
Libya’s uncertain future has led to a rise in the smuggling of arms from the country into the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli military officials.