Egypt-Gaza border closed as Israel claims Hamas smuggled advanced arms
Egyptian and Hamas forces closed the Gaza Strip border Sunday after reportedly agreeing to control the frontier blown open last month in an effort to break a crippling Israeli blockade. Metal barriers and rolls of barbed wire were erected across all gaps in the border at the divided town of Rafah, AFP reported.
"No more Palestinians are being allowed in," an Egyptian security source was quoted as saying. One gate remained open to allow Palestinians and Egyptians to return home.
A spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry in Gaza, Ihad Hussein, said that the closure "will last until we have a new agreement to open the Rafah crossing."
Earlier, a spokesman for President Hosni Mubarak said that Egypt would oppose new attempts by the Palestinians to breach its border with the coastal territory. The spokesman, Suleiman Awad, blamed the Hamas, Israel and the European Union for the crisis on its frontiers with the Strip.
Meanwhile, Israel "Shin Bet" security agency chief Yuval Diskin told government ministers on Sunday that large quantities of advanced arms have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip since the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was breached. According to Haaretz, Diskin listed long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, anti-aircraft missiles and materials used for rocket production as some of the arms brought into the Strip.