NEW YORK- In response to new evidence that Egypt has been smuggling weapons to Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is urging the Bush administration to suspend the more than $2-billion in aid the U.S. gives Egypt each year.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: Egypts smuggling of weapons to terrorists in Israel is more than a violation of the treaty it is almost an act of war. The U.S. aid package of more than $2-billion each year to Egypt was designed specifically as a reward for Egypt signing its peace treaty with Israel, and it should be suspended or reduced if Egypt violates the treaty. That would make it clear to Egypt that it must stop aiding and abetting the terrorists who are continually murdering Jews.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (Haaretz, May 31, 2004) that Egypt has smuggled a large number of rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers manufactured by the Egyptian military industries into the Gaza Strip. Most of the weapons smuggled through underground tunnels into the Gaza Strip were manufactured in Iran, and included hundreds of Kalashnikov rifles, mortars and thousands of bullets. Knesset Member Yuval Steinitz (Likud), chairman of the committee, said that Egypt has not done anything to eliminate weapons smuggling and sometimes even assists them.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Israel Television Channel 2 on May 19, 2004, that the weapons now on the Egyptian side that are about to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip, if Israel does not stop the smuggling, leaves Israel with no choice but to continue the operation. Mofaz mentioned that among the weapons in the pipeline on the Egyptian side are Sager anti-aircraft missiles and Katyusha rockets.
Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky said on the Anne Coulter Radio Show on May 19, 2004, that 90% of the weapons in Gaza came through the tunnels from Egypt.
On Israel Television Channel 2 on May 19, 2004, Defense Minister Mofaz was asked: Why doesnt Egypt act as required by the treaty and stop the smuggling? Mofaz replied: We have asked the Egyptians numerous times to act and wish that they would. (translation courtesy of IMRA)