Gaza breach allows in advanced weapons

See the article below from Jpost 2/3/08.  The destruction of the Gaza security fence on the border with Egypt raises the likelihood of an IDF operation soon to reduce the missile threat from Gaza:

Hamas’s breach of the security fence along the Egypt-Gaza border has resulted in the smuggling of a large amount of advanced weaponry, including long-range rockets, anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft missiles, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head Yuval Diskin said in his briefing to ministers during Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

In a sobering assessment of the situation, Diskin said that the breach also allowed dozens of operatives from all of the different terror organizations in Syria, Iran, and Egypt to infiltrate into Gaza. He said that these operatives were likely trained in Iran, and crossed the border with the aim of upgrading terror attacks against Israel.

The Shin Bet chief also talked about the tenuous balance of power between Hamas and Fatah, saying that in recent months it has tipped in Hamas’s favor. Referring to a survey which was conducted at Al-Najah University in Nablus, Diskin said that Hamas now enjoys 16% support amongst the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza combined, up from 13 percent in November, 2007. Conversely, Fatah’s popularity fell from 44% in November, to 38 percent today.

While Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is interested in taken control of the crossing, Hamas also wants a role in the policing efforts, Diskin said. He explained that the Islamic organization has been bolstered by the euphoria which followed last week’s breach, and now wants a presence at the crossing. He added that Hamas would agree to European Union monitors in the area, so long as they do not live in Israel.

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