Hamas’ tunnels under the border, developed to circumvent Egyptian restrictions on the official Rafah crossing and Israel’s blockade, are primarily for the illegal smuggling of goods and people.
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — A Sinai security chief said Sunday that Egypt had detained ten Palestinians entering illegally from Gaza in the past three days, and would act to round up all Palestinians without permission to enter the country.
Maj. Gen. Sameeh Bashadi told Ma’an a list of names and descriptions of Palestinians who had entered Egypt through the tunnels had been distributed to all security bureaus.
He said Palestinians on the list were involved in issues related to Egypt’s national security, without elaborating.
Egypt has struggled to impose central control over the desert Sinai peninsula, which borders Gaza.
Tunnels under the border, developed to circumvent Egyptian restrictions on the official Rafah crossing and Israel’s blockade, are primarily for the transfer of goods, but people have also used them to cross.
Egypt opened the Rafah crossing for passengers in May 2011, the only border terminal not controlled by Israel.