Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Egyptian Engineers Travel to US-Mexico Border to Learn about Smuggling Tunnels

Via JPost -

A delegation of Egyptian engineers has traveled to the American border with Mexico to learn techniques used by the US military to detect and destroy smuggling tunnels, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The visit was coordinated in line with the memorandum of understanding on arms smuggling signed earlier this month between Israel and the US. The US government has already deployed military engineers with tunnel-detection equipment in Sinai to assist the Egyptians in uncovering and destroying Hamas's smuggling tunnels.

The tunnels along America's southern border are used to move drugs and illegal migrants into the US.

Israeli defense officials said the Egyptian delegation was studying an American technique to detect and destroy tunnels by digging deep holes and detonating explosives inside in controlled explosions that topple tunnels dug nearby.

The Egyptian military is also expected to receive new tunnel detection equipment from Germany to be used along the Philadelphi Corridor. During Operation Cast Lead the IDF destroyed close to 300 tunnels, but some were left intact and Hamas is believed to have begun renovating the ones destroyed.

The defense officials said that Israel, Egypt, the US and the European Union will begin holding regular meetings in the coming weeks to exchange intelligence on weapons shipments being sent to Hamas by Iran.

An Iranian ship that tried crossing the Suez Canal earlier this week to the Mediterranean Sea was denied access by the Egyptian Navy after the US discovered it was carrying weapons.

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