Israel: Egypt must take action on border

LISBON, Portugal, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Israel's foreign minister said at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, that Egypt must put a stop to weapons smuggling from that country into Gaza.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit that action is needed on the border Egypt shares with Gaza to help curtail what she described as a dire regional problem, Haaretz reported Tuesday.


U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., told Haaretz that money smuggling is also a major problem along the Philadelphi Route, which leads from Egypt to the Gaza Strip. He said an estimated $20 million crosses the border illegally each month.

Ackerman said Egypt's inaction against border smuggling is helping to empower militant Palestinian organization Hamas.

"Any way that you help the government in Gaza, the illegal government in Gaza, you further hurt Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas)," he said.

Ackerman said he believes the Egyptians "are not intentionally" trying to strengthen Hamas, but "that is the effect."

Latest Headlines