It can now be stated clearly: Egypt, which maintains a formal peace treaty with Israel, acts as if it is in a state of war with Israel.

Israel has determined that Iranian-financed weapons to the Palestinian Authority flow through a port in Egypt, with direct support from the Egyptian government.

Israeli officials said many of the weapons ordered by the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority and aligned insurgency groups stem from Sudan’s Darfour region. They said the weapons were transported by land and then shipped through the Mediterranean to ports in Egypt.

“The weapons to the Palestinians are brought in through Egyptian ports and El Arish and are imported by land from Sudan,” Yuval Steinitz, the deputy chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said. “Those latter imports have to traverse Egypt on their way to Gaza. There is no way that the Egyptian government is not colluding with the weapons shippers.”

In a series of interviews in the Israeli media, Steinitz, the former chairman of the Knesset committee, asserted that Egypt has supported the massive smuggling of weapons to the Gaza Strip. Steinitz said Egypt regards Hamas and other Palestinian insurgency groups as a key asset in the Arab confrontation against Israel.

“A few checkpoints in the El Arish port and on the road that leads from inside Egypt into Sinai would solve the [arms smuggling] problem,” Steinitz said. “It could do this. It could put the smuggler leaders in jail – as Jordan did.”

Israeli officials have echoed the assertions of Steinitz, who attends weekly briefings by the Israeli intelligence community. They said Egypt has bolstered its military presence in the Sinai Peninsula and established military bases and supply warehouses.

“There are others who argue there is a deliberate Egyptian policy to allow conditions that cause Israel difficulties and perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said Zeev Schiff, a leading Israeli military analyst who reflects thinking in the IDF General Staff.

On Nov. 1, Egypt was said to have rejected a U.S. proposal to deploy international forces along the Sinai-Gaza border. The dismissal was relayed during a meeting of Egyptian and U.S. intelligence officials, the latter led by National Intelligence Director John Negroponte.

©The Bulletin 2006


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.