New U.S. Equipment Helps Egypt Uncover Gaza-Sinai Tunnels

Israeli officials praise rise in Egyptian law enforcement activity along border with Hamas-ruled territory.

Egyptian security officials this week attributed the dramatic rise in the discovery of tunnels along the Egypt-Gaza Strip border to U.S.-supplied equipment. Israeli officials also praised Egypt's heightened efforts against the tunnels, dug by Gaza-based militants to smuggle out weapons and other contraband.

"New, highly efficient equipment has begun to be used which includes sensors that assist in uncovering the tunnels," one official told Haaretz.

Israeli government and security officials also praised the rise in Egyptian law enforcement activity along the border, but emphasized that work to thwart smuggling must continue.

American experts installed the equipment at the border as part of ongoing security cooperation between Washington and Cairo.

The Americans had used some of the equipment to thwart smuggling across the Mexican border, and recently transferred it to the Egyptian army to strengthen its hold on the Philadelphi Route separating Egypt from the Strip.

Egyptian officials emphasized that the new results stem not from a change in their motivation to stem smuggling, but in the tools now available on the ground.