Israeli Air Force jets struck various weapon trucks headed to the Gaza Strip from Sinai between November and May, i24 news reported. The shipments included Iranian missiles meant for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, like reported by jpost.com.
In addition to these operations, Egypt confiscated large sums of money meant to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip and the Gaza factions reduced further shipments.
An Islamist insurgency in the desolate, thinly populated Sinai Peninsula has increased in violence and pace since the Egyptian military toppled President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
Egyptian president Abdel Fateh al-Sisi has waged extensive military operations against Islamic State terrorists in Sinai, who despite their small size in the peninsula, is considered by many to be one of the most effective ISIS franchises outside Syria and Iraq, and have carried out numerous deadly attacks on Egyptian security forces.
Israel has a 240-kilometer border with the restive Sinai Peninsula, and Cairo and Jerusalem have been reported to have been closely cooperating in the fight against terrorists since Sisi rose to power.
According to foreign reports, Israel has operated beyond its borders to thwart the smuggling of rockets into the blockaded Gaza Strip, reportedly working with Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula.
In January, CBS News aired an interview with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in which he said that military cooperation between Egypt and Israel has reached “unprecedented levels” in the Sinai Peninsula.
The Egyptian military announced in January that it had destroyed 37 cross-border tunnels linking the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula over the past year. The military began cracking down on tunnels stretching from the Hamas-run coastal enclave into the restive peninsula since the country’s September 2013 military coup.
Cairo has previously flooded Hamas tunnels along the Gaza Strip with seawater or sewage, and has destroyed hundreds of homes on the Egyptian side of Rafah to remove the tunnels.
Israel’s military has also been investing extensive efforts in locating cross-border tunnels from Gaza and has destroyed 15 terror tunnels that infiltrated into Israeli territory this past year, including one tunnel that stretched into both Israel and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula near the Kerem Shalom crossing.