Hamas operatives in the Gaza Strip rejected a delivery of smuggled rockets emanating from Libya after discovering that Israel had managed to equip them with tracking devices, an Egyptian daily reported on Monday.
Sources close to smugglers in the Sinai desert told Al-Youm A-Sabi’ that 28 long-range missiles were smuggled from Libya to Gaza through central Sinai during the past few days, but were blocked before entering smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip after an expert from Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, discovered the tracking devices when examining the missiles in Sinai.
The Egyptian report could not be independently confirmed.
The Sinai Peninsula has been flooded with weapons originating in Libya following the fall of the Qaddafi regime in October 2011, many of them Gaza-bound. Last June, the Egyptian army confiscated a huge weapons transport near the Libyan border likely headed to Gaza, which included 138 Grad missiles.
An anti-aircraft missile fired at an Israeli helicopter last October near Gaza was believed by Israeli security officials to have come from Libya as well.
According to the sources who spoke to Al-Youm A-Sabi’, Hamas has stopped working with many arms smugglers in the Sinai, suspecting them of colluding with Israel in planting the devices, which have enabled Israel to discover many weapons caches in the past.
The sources feared for the lives of the smugglers after Hamas vowed to severely punish them.