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Monday, June 24, 2013

Egypt shutting down Gaza smuggling tunnels

So far we haven't seen any flotillas with European 'activists' trying to enter Gaza through El-Arish or Sinai. I wonder why. The Egyptians are doing a better job of shutting down Gaza's smuggling tunnels than anyone else has done since Israel left the Strip in 2005.
Palestinians involved in the tunnel business say that the campaign, which began in March and has included flooding of underground passages, was ramped up in the past two weeks before a wave of opposition-led protests in Egypt expected to start on June 30.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has come under political fire at home over a strong challenge to his authority by militant Islamists in the Sinai who have attacked Egyptian security forces in the peninsula.
Egypt's military, struggling to fill a security vacuum in the Sinai since autocrat Hosni Mubarak was swept from power in 2011, has pledged to shut all tunnels under the Gaza border, saying they are used by militants on both sides to smuggle activists and weapons.
The moves against the tunnels have dashed the hopes of many Palestinians that Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood from which Hamas was born, would significantly ease Egyptian border restrictions on Gaza, which is also subjected to blockade by Israel.
"Business is clinically dead," said Abu Bassam, who employs 40 workers in a Palestinian tunnel network in Rafah, a town on the border. "Tunnels are almost shut down completely."
Only 50 to 70 tunnels, out of hundreds that have provided a commercial lifeline for the Gaza Strip, are still open and in partial operation, owners said. Other tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons for militants from Hamas and other groups.
The Egyptian army has sternly warned residents in Sinai not to approach the fence with Gaza and to stop trading through tunnels or face punishment, according to Palestinian tunnel owners who learned about the order from Egyptian counterparts.
"Today we have to pay extra money to convince an Egyptian driver to bring goods to us...resulting in rising prices of basic materials here," said Abu Ali, another tunnel owner, standing beside the shaft of his deserted tunnel.
The price of cement in Gaza has soared from NIS 350 ($95) a ton to NIS 800 ($217). Palestinians who bought relatively cheap petrol smuggled from Egypt now have to pay for fuel imported from Israel selling for double the price.
Boo. Hoo.

But why aren't all the 'human rights activists' attacking Egypt? Because they don't care unless the blockading is being done by Jews. 

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