Israel has raised the suspension of the barrier project with Egypt, security sources said.
The sources said Israel expressed concern over an increase in
Hamas smuggling as well as consultation between Hamas Foreign Minister
Mahmoud Zahar and Egyptian military officials over the last six months.
Also In This Edition
The Egyptian Interior Ministry ended
construction of the 10-kilometer steel barrier in February, the sources said. They cited
the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the reduction of security
forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
"There is a restructuring of the entire ministry and a review of all
projects," a security source said.
The sources said the suspension of construction came during the last
stage of the project. They said the project could be renewed by 2012.
The border security project began in 2009 and was meant to install a
steel barrier to a depth of 20 meters. The barrier, however, was said to
have been penetrated by Palestinian smugglers in cooperation with the Hamas
regime in the Gaza Strip.