Jerusalem, October 16, 2003

Senior Palestinian security official arrested for smuggling war materiel from Egypt into Gaza
(Communicated by the GPO)

On September 7, 2003, the Israel Security Agency detained Akhram Tubasi, 31, an official with the Palestinian secutity services’ "Coast Guard" from Rafiah, for smuggling war materiel – including rockets, ammunition and small arms – from Egypt to the Gaza Strip on behalf of various elements in Gaza, including senior Palestinian security officials (such as Nabil Tamus, in charge of Preventive Security in the Gaza Strip).

Tubasi used local youths to smuggle the war materiel into the Gaza Strip via tunnels (inter alia). Tubasi had been directed by Nabil Tamus to check with Preventive Security Director Muhammad Dahlan on the desirability of smuggling in more rockets but was arrested before he could do so.

Tubasi has admitted to being involved in planning to blow up an Israeli tank and in planning an attack on an IDF position, in the Gaza Strip.

From Tubasi’s testimony, it is clear that despite protestations to the contrary, senior Palestinian security officials are actively involved in the smuggling of war materiel.