'Hezbollah planned huge terror attacks in Tel Aviv'
Egyptian paper: Palestinians told Egypt investigators that Hezbollah cell plotted suicide bombings in Israel.
Hezbollah operatives caught in Egypt planned to carry out massive terror attacks in Tel Aviv, the Egyptian newspaper Almasry Alyoum reported Thursday.
The paper based the report on the testimonies of two Palestinians from the Fatah movement, who are being held in Egypt on suspicion of belonging to a Hezbollah cell. They reportedly told Egyptian investigators that Tel Aviv was one target in Israel for which they were trained to perpetrate large-scale suicide bombings.
According to the report, Egyptian officials began interrogating the Palestinian detainees on Tuesday.
The Palestinians said that the Hezbollah cell, which consisted of 49 men, had been trained in a number of countries, including Sudan and Libya, the Cairo-based paper said.
They reportedly confessed to joining the Hezbollah group in Egypt in early 2008, after they infiltrated the country during Hamas' breach of the Gaza-Sinai border. They said that they were later caught and brought back to Gaza, the paper reported, but subsequently managed to return to Egypt and join the cell.
The secular Palestinian Fatah and Shi'ite Lebanese Hezbollah have also worked together in the past. Israeli security sources say Hezbollah has in the past operated a cell of Fatah members in the West Bank.
Egypt is holding at least 25 Egyptian, Palestinian, Sudanese and Lebanese men linked to Hezbollah and has said they were planning attacks in Egypt, according to a statement from the public prosecutor's office.
The arrests have been accompanied by a barrage of criticism of Hezbollah by newspapers in Egypt, which is majority Sunni and the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
On Wednesday, Iran's foreign minister accused Israel of sparking the row between Egypt and Hezbollah as a way of intervening in inter-Lebanese politics.