Egypt destroyed 37 cross-border tunnels to Gaza in 2018, says army

A view of tents covering the smuggling tunnels along the Egypt-Gaza border is seen from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on August 22, 2012, as Egyptian soldiers destroy the infrastructure of the tunnels on the Egyptian side of Rafah, since sources in Cairo suggested some of the gunmen from the attack on Egyptian troops in northern Sinai on August 8, that killed 16 soldiers, had entered Sinai through the tunnels. The tunnels trade, which analysts estimate is worth half a billion dollars a year, brings a wide variety of goods, including food, fuel and building materials, into the coastal territory which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2006

The Egyptian army had destroyed 37 cross-border tunnels linking the besieged Gaza Strip and to the country’s Sinai Peninsula in 2018, the army announced yesterday.

“The Egyptian army has 37 hidden tunnels in northern Sinai during 2018,” the military said in a statement.

The army added that it had also “thwarted attempts of illegal infiltrations by 18,965 people of various nationalities throughout 2018.”

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Egypt shuts the Rafah crossing – Gaza’s only connection to the outside world – most of the year.

Since September 2015, the Egyptian military cracking down on Gaza’s cross-border tunnel network. It has been carrying out operations in the north of Sinai against what it describes as “gunmen targeting security and military headquarters.”

By virtue of its location on the Mediterranean Sea off the European continent, Egypt is a transit country for irregular migration to a number of European countries, particularly Greece, Italy and France.

(Source / 04.01.2019)

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