The army spokesman announced that Second Army forces arrested a Palestinian in Sinai on Monday morning, claiming that he is “an active supporter of terrorist organisations in Sinai”
The spokesman added in a statement that Aref Deeb Ghanem Abu Khosa, who is a former first lieutenant in Hamas Gaza-based organisation, was arrested in North Sinai while in possession of a machine gun, a 9mm pistol, and related ammunition.
He also had a walkie-talkie, two digital cameras, 17 mobile SIM cards, binoculars and a laptop computer, which the statement described as “spying equipment”.
According to the statement, Abu Khosa also possessed a small amount of cannabis.
The spokesman issued another statement with the title “The Armed Forces resumes its crackdown on Terrorism and Organised crime in Sinai”, which said operations on Monday led to the deaths of three militants and the arrest of nine, including three Palestinians.
The crackdown, which included Al-Mahdiya, Naga’ Shabana, Al-Sakaska, Dorgham, Al-Telool, Abu Tawila, and Mosafeq villages in North Sinai, led to the destruction of 30 militants’ safe-houses and 23 unlicensed vehicles that “terrorist elements use for attacking security personnel.”
Two unlicensed diesel gas transporting vehicles were also destructed, “as they were used in smuggling operations”.
One army soldier was injured during the crackdown, and is now in stable condition, the statement said.
The spokesman had issued a statement on Saturday saying that the armed forces had managed to destroy the largest diesel gas smuggling network so far. The network consisted of seven underground tanks near the Rafah border, storing 30 tonnes of diesel gas to be smuggled to Gaza through pipes. On the same day, Egyptian authorities decided to reopen the Rafah border crossing after being closed since 25 October.