Egyptian police detained more than 40 people suspected of involvement in weapons smuggling to the Gaza Strip and having links to Lebanon's Hezbollah, a security official said on Tuesday.
The men were suspected of having bought or rented homes in the Rafah border town with Gaza to smuggle weapons and contraband into the Palestinian enclave, the official said.
Montassar al-Zayat, an Egyptian lawyer who has often represented jailed Islamists, said that Lebanese and Palestinians were among the arrested.
Zayat said lawyers had not been allowed to meet the detained, but their families told lawyers they were being questioned about links to the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah.
"Police were asking about a Lebanese man who was detained and who is suspected of being a representative of Hezbollah," he said.
It was not immediately clear when the arrests were made and no charges have been brought against the suspects.
Egypt is eager to show that it is doing all it can to stop money or aid from reaching Hamas, which rules Gaza and is at odds with Fatah, the rival movement that holds sway in the West Bank.
The Egyptian government is also worried that public support for Gaza may boost the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has ideological and historical ties with Hamas and is the strongest opposition group in Egypt.
Hezbollah is a vocal supporter of Hamas and is thought to have helped train some Hamas fighters and to have tried supplying weapons to Palestinian fighters in the past.
Both Hamas and Hezbollah are supported by Iran, whose growing influence in the region has alarmed conservative Arab states.
Hamas fought a devastating 22-day war with Israel in December and January. Israel and Egypt have mostly blockaded border crossings with Gaza after Hamas took it over in June 2007.
Israel, which is determined to stop Hamas from acquiring weapons, announced a ceasefire to the war in Gaza only after receiving assurances from the U.S. and European countries to prevent Hamas from arming.
Much of the goods smuggled into Gaza come through a network of tunnels linking the enclave with Egypt.
But Egypt, which has taken increasingly robust measures to crack down on the smuggling, denies weapons are smuggled from its territories, saying arms come to Gaza by sea.