Weapons Highway? Egypt-Gaza Border Opening Feared

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JERUSALEM -- Concerns in Israel over the change in government in Egypt are increasing as Egypt considers opening its Gaza border.

Israel fears that doing so would open a door for weapons to start flowing into the Gaza Strip.

Permanently opening the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has become a stronger possibility for two reasons -- the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the growing relationship between Hamas and Egypt's new leadership.

The action, however, would breach an agreement between the United States, Israel, Egypt, and the European Union reached in 2005 after Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip.

"There was supposed to be an international monitoring group on the ground to prevent smuggling of weapons and illegal entry of cash money. But that's not going to be," Yaakov Katz, Jerusalem Post military correspondent, told CBN News.

Israel closed its border with Gaza after Hamas took over the area in 2007.

Israel still allows truck loads of humanitarian aid and goods into the Gaza Strip each week, as well as cooking gas, diesel fuel, and construction materials.

But terrorists and entrepreneurs smuggle weapons and just about everything else into Gaza through tunnels under the border with Egypt.

The Israeli government declined to comment on the border issue, but one official told CBN News he didn't believe Egypt would allow weapons across the border for its own sake.

Katz, however, said he thinks Hamas will have complete freedom.

"Hamas is just getting an open door conduit from Egypt into the Gaza Strip," he explained. "They won't even need to use the tunnels any more if that's going to be the case."

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Reporter

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