Egypt reportedly intercepts large weapons shipment en route to Gaza from Libya

Cache includes 185 crates full of arms and ammunition worth $3.3 million, Egyptian daily says

Egyptian army personnel guard the road outside Rafah, Egypt, Monday, Aug. 6, (photo credit: AP)
Egyptian army personnel guard the road outside Rafah, Egypt, Monday, Aug. 6, (photo credit: AP)

Egyptian state security forces have seized a large shipment of weapons that were smuggled into Sinai from Libya en route to Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian daily Al-Ahram reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the shipment included 185 crates full of arms and ammunition, including bullets, anti-tank and anti-aircraft munitions, rocket-propelled grenades, landmines and explosives. The estimated value of the shipment was 20 million Egyptian pounds ($3.3 million).

Three people, including a father and son, were said to have been arrested for smuggling the shipment.

Another such shipment from Libya carrying warheads for Grad rockets was intercepted by Egyptian authorities last week.

Libya is considered a primary source of weapons used by terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip. Hamas and Islamist terror groups fired hundreds of rockets on Israel last week, while Israel carried out 1,500 airstrikes on Hamas-linked targets, during Operation Pillar of Defense. Following a ceasefire between the two sides that went into effect on Wednesday, Israel is demanding that Hamas halt the smuggling of weapons into Gaza.

Islamist terror groups have also become increasingly active in the Sinai Peninsula over the course of the past year, targeting Egyptian and international military bases and using the territory as a staging ground for terror attacks on Israel soil.

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