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Egypt opens airspace to Gaza aggressors?

Source:Press TV
Date:13/01-2009

Israeli missiles destroy a mosque and Islamic school in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip on Sunday.

An increasing number of news reports have confirmed that despite claims by Cairo, Israeli warplanes have been entering Egyptian airspace.

Reuters has cited witnesses as saying that Israeli planes conducting Gaza attack operations have flown into Egypt on several occasions.

According to the Reuters, Israeli planes often fly at such low altitude that it leaves no doubt that they are over Egyptian territory.

CNN reported that two pairs of Israeli F-16 fighter jets that were on bombing runs in southern Gaza violated Egyptian airspace.

"We can tell they're coming through Egyptian airspace because they're over the far side of the building where we're standing," CNN's Karl Penhaul reported from Rafah, Egypt. He was atop a building about 500 meters (547 yards) from the Gaza border.

Four Egyptians, including two children, were wounded on Sunday when Israeli warplanes targeted tunnels on the common border between Gaza and Egypt.

The tunnels are considered as the lifeline of the Palestinian territory, allowing Gazans to bring in food, fuel and medical supplies for the 1.5 million residents of the blockaded strip.

Israel says the tunnels are being used to smuggle weapons and explosives into the territory.

A CNN report confirms that Israeli F-16s have at least once bombed between the border fences of Gaza and Egypt.

Egypt is seen throughout the Middle East as Israel's main accomplice in the imposition of the 18-month Israeli blockade on Gaza and has been subject to severe criticism.

Popular Hezbollah leader Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday slammed Egypt, saying Cairo gives its "full cooperation and intelligence to Israel and the US in order to force others into submission."

Israel waged war on Gaza on December 27. So far, at least 900 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive and more than 4000 have been wounded.

Egypt claims it has not given Israel permission to violate its airspace.