TEL AVIV – Hamas has “doubled” the number of Egyptian soldiers being paid off to help facilitate the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip, including rockets and missiles, according to informed Israeli security sources.

The information comes one week after WND reported Hamas had formed a common committee with al-Qaida-linked groups in the Gaza Strip to strategize the coordination of smuggling weapons into Gaza, according to informed Israeli security sources.

The sources noted that after Israel’s campaign in Gaza – which ended with a U.S. and Egypt-brokered cease-fire – Hamas immediately freed from its jails scores of members of al-Qaida and the related Jihadiya Salafiya terrorist groups.

Now the Islamist group is bribing more Egyptian troops to help facilitate the flow of weapons into Gaza, said the informed sources.

WND reported that even before Israel’s operation in Gaza ended two weeks ago, Iran and Hezbollah were trying to resupply Hamas with more long-range missiles to fire into Israel, according to Israeli defense sources.

Hamas and other Gazan groups have long reportedly bribed Egyptian troops to aid in weapons smuggling, even under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak.

As far back as 2005, WND reported some Egyptian soldiers stationed at the Sinai-Gaza border were being bribed by Palestinians to allow weapons to be smuggled from Egypt into the nearby Rafah refugee camp, the security chief for Gaza’s now evacuated Jewish communities said.

“The average Egyptian soldier makes about $10 a month. Pay him and his colleagues $100 a month and you have yourself a bought border,” Ami Shaked, security coordinator for the Gush Katif Block, said at the time.

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