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Instead, Palestinian security officials warned smugglers that the Israelis were on their trail, he said. The Egyptians, too, “could do much more to stop the smuggling. They know the smugglers quite well,” he added.

The second major Palestinian militant effort is directed at developing rockets that can hit the Israeli town of Ashkelon, north of the Gaza Strip. The town of 100,000 is near strategic sites such an electric power plant.

Palestinian rockets have a range of 5.6 miles, and because militants cannot fire from the Israeli-controlled boundary line, they are working to extend the rockets’ range and conduct “very many” test firings into the sea, the source said.