Egypt Army Says 1,370 Smuggling Tunnels to Gaza Now Closed
The Egyptian Army said on Wednesday that it has destroyed 1,370 smuggling tunnels under its border with Gaza, Lebanon’s Daily Star reported, citing AFP in Cairo.
The tunnels, many under the border town of Rafah, are used to transfer food, fuel and consumer products, as well as arms and money for Hamas, the militant political party that rules Gaza.
Hamas gained vibrancy from the ill-fated presidency of Mohammed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood, now banned in Egypt as a “terrorist organization,” shares its beliefs.
But with Morsi’s ouster last year and subsequent imprisonment and trial, Hamas has been targeted by the military leadership of Egypt which worked to ban all Hamas activities in the country and seized its assets there last week. Hamas has been accused of colluding with Muslim Brotherhood supporters to destabilize Egypt.
With the Rafah border closed, Gazans are unable to travel to Egypt without crossing an Israeli-controlled border. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, was reported taking to Facebook to send peaceful greetings to Cairo, in an attempt to improve its relations with the new regime.