Israel’s intelligence community has determined that Egypt, despite numerous operations in 2008, failed to reduce the weapons flow to the Hamas regime in Gaza.

The Israel Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center ( ) reports that Egyptian efforts prior to the recent Hamas-Israel war was inadequate and failed to make a dent in the Hamas military effort.

The report comes as the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert seeks to win Egyptian approval for a crackdown on Hamas weapons smuggling.

Mr. Olmert and his senior ministers have accepted an Egyptian proposal to deploy another 1,300 troops along the almost nine-mile Gaza-Sinai border.

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“In our assessment, Hamas will work as fast as it can to restore the tunnels damaged or destroyed…The tunnels play an extremely important role in the restoration of Hamas military infrastructure, since they make it possible for large quantities of weapons to flow regularly into Gaza,” the report said.

The report said Hamas would use any Egyptian-arranged cease-fire to accelerate weapons smuggling from the Sinai Peninsula. Despite official pronouncements, the report said, Egypt has ignored the Hamas tunnel network, which spans the divided city of Rafah on the Gaza-Sinai border.

“Despite the many attacks, some of the tunnels were not damaged and were used both during and after the fighting,” the report said. “In our assessment, there were several hundred tunnels in existence before Operation Cast Lead, many of which were used to smuggle weapons and military equipment into Gaza.”

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein
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.