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Palestinians caught smuggling Israeli weapons into Egypt

CAIRO — Egypt has determined that Israeli weapons were being smuggled from the Gaza Strip to the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.


Egyptian security sources said Palestinian smugglers were transporting Israeli weapons and military equipment to and from the Gaza Strip. They said the equipment also included U.S.-origin body armor and night-vision devices.

On June 15, Egyptian police reported the capture of three Palestinian weapons smugglers in northern Sinai, Middle East Newsline reported. A senior police official, Saleh Al Masri, said the three arms dealers were working with an Egyptian middle man.

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The Egyptian police were said to have seized 10 Israeli-origin Uzi submachine guns, five M-16 assault rifles as well as ammunition, night-vision goggles and body armor. The sources said the Palestinian arms ring operated around the northern Sinai capital of El Arish.

The police announcement marked the first time that Egyptian security forces arrested arms smugglers in Sinai since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in February. Mubarak's fall sparked a collapse of Egypt's police in both Sinai as well as in much of the African mainland.

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