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Egypt Angry at Israeli Plans To Seize Control of Egypt-Gaza Border

Diaa Rashwan. Credit: State Information Services

Egypt is furious over Israeli plans to seize control of the Egypt-Gaza border, including a strip of land on the Gaza side of the border known in Israel as the Philadelphi corridor. Head of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) Diaa Rashwan rebuffed on Jan. 22 the recent “baseless and false” claims by Israeli officials, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, regarding weapon smuggling into Gaza from Egyptian territory, emphasizing that these false allegations undermine the peace treaty between the two countries. Those recent claims, Rashwan said, allege that there is smuggling of weapons, explosives, ammunition, and components into the Gaza Strip from Egyptian territory through various means, including tunnels. “These false allegations do not serve the [Egyptian-Israeli] peace treaty respected by Egypt,” he said, reported the Egyptian daily Al Ahram.

Rashwan claimed that Egypt has maintained complete control over the border, including measures to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. “Many weapons currently present in the sector result from smuggling from within Israel, such as M16 rifles and types of RPGs, in addition to dual-use materials for military manufacturing in the sector,” he said. There have been many reports by Israeli media documenting how weapons from the army go missing or are sold in the West Bank, some of which end up in Gaza.