The Sudanese government has called on the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel for allegedly violating its airspace and attacking an arms factory in Khartoum.
On Tuesday, Sudanese officials blamed an explosion at the Yarmouk weapons facility on an Israeli air strike. Two people were killed in the inferno that engulfed the plant.
Sudan's U.N. envoy, Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, told the Council that Israel’s alleged strike "jeopardizes peace and security in the entire region, not just in Sudan. We call on you to stop foreign hands from meddling in the Darfur conflict and to help Sudan arrive at a final solution that would maintain peace and security."
Khartoum also alleges that Israeli aircraft have targeted Sudan at least twice in recent years.
A large crowd of Sudanese gathered outside a government office where the cabinet was holding an emergency meeting over the factory explosion. Demonstrators shouted slogans such as "death to Israel" and "remove Israel from the map."
"Israel is a country of injustice that needs to be deterred," Sudanese Vice President Ali Osman Taha later told the crowd. "This attack only strengthens our firmness."
However, Sudan has not provided any concrete evidence of Israeli involvement in the incident, while Israel has refrained from explicitly commenting.
"There is nothing I can say about this subject," Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Israeli television.
However, an Israeli defense official told army radio that Sudan is a “dangerous terrorist” state.
"The [Sudanese] regime is supported by Iran, and it serves as a route for the transfer, via Egyptian territory, of Iranian weapons to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists," said Israeli Defense Ministry's Amos Gilad, according to Agence France Presse.
Jonathan Schanzer and Laura Grossman of IHS Defense, Risk and Security Consulting wrote in a report in July that “Sudan ... maintains a direct relationship with Iranian surrogate groups, primarily Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ]. ... Hamas and PIJ continue to fundraise in Sudan and maintain a presence there. These groups also established a strong relationship with Sudanese government officials and use Sudan as a key transit route to facilitate the movement of Iranian-shipped weapons to Gaza.”
Jonathan Marcus, the BBC’s defense correspondent, said the factory that was bombed likely made rockets and other weapons that would be dispatched by Iranians to Hamas in the Gaza Strip 1,000 miles to the north.
“Sudan's claims should be taken seriously,” Marcus wrote. “The Sudan raid appears to be yet another episode in the shadowy war being waged by Israel and Iran over arms supplies to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.”
An explosion last April that killed two people in the eastern city of Port Sudan was also blamed on an Israeli missile strike. Sudan also linked Israel to a strike on a convoy in northeastern Sudan three years ago.
Sudan has warm relations with Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist militancy that governs Gaza.
In January of this year, Prime Minister of Gaza Ismail Haniyeh made an official visit to Khartoum for talks with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. During his appearance there, Haniyeh reiterated that his organization would never recognize Israel.