This is a pretty sobering statistic. Last week in response to continued terrorist attacks in the Sinai region, Egypt began to widen the border between Gaza and Egypt. A “buffer zone” is being built and homes on the border are being removed. A “border wall” is currently being considered.
So far around 200 homes have been bulldozed or destroyed as Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi and his government begin the process. Of the 200 homes removed, 78 have been found to house tunnels from Egypt into Gaza, that’s 39%. These tunnels are used by Hamas to smuggle arms and rockets into the Gaza strip – the target of the rockets is Israel.
EGYPT – North Sinai Governor General Abdel-Fattah Harhour said owners of houses on the border line with the Gaza Strip will not receive any compensation for their demolished houses if smuggling tunnels were discovered inside their homes.
“The number of these homes whose owners will not receive compensation is 78, no compensation because these houses have smuggling tunnels,” he told local CBC television.
On Wednesday, the army began demolishing homes along the border line with the Gaza Strip to create a buffer zone which aims at preventing weapons smuggling.
Harhour explained that the departing residents would be compensated for their lost homes.
Each displaced family is expected to receive LE900 to help pay for rent elsewhere for three months, Harhour said, while compensation for lost property is being calculated.
He expected more than 680 houses on the border are set to be demolished.
Security forces had previously destroyed around 200 houses on the border after discovering entrances to smuggling tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip inside residences.
Last Friday, more than 30 Egyptian security personnel were killed in a terrorist attack on an army post in Sinai. Since then, the army’s crackdown on Sinai-based militants has intensified.
The Friday assaults were the worst ever since unrest and violence in the peninsula spiked following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year. After the attack, a three-month state of emergency was declared in Sinai. (read more)
Hardball – […] The planned buffer zone will reportedly stretch along the length of the 13km (eight mile) border.
Those who refuse to leave their homes within the deadline set by the authorities will have their property seized by force.
North Sinai’s governor, General Abdel-Fattah Harhoor, said on Wednesday that 800 homes in the border city of Rafah had been evacuated.
Compensation has been offered to the displaced, except those whose homes are found to contain smuggling tunnels.
Some residents have complained that the government’s action is breeding anger. Forcible displacement is a criminal act under the Egyptian constitution.
Militants operating in Sinai and in Gaza have been accused of using tunnels below the border to move weapons and fighters.
The tunnels have also played a vital role in the economy of the Palestinian territory, which has been struggling to cope with a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007 as a measure against Hamas. (more)
You’ll note the sound of (((crickets))) from the leftist U.S. media about el-Sisi’s decision to relocate the border residents.
Why no protestations? Simple. Because it’s not Israel doing it, on that end.
When Israel does it the left goes apoplectic; when Egypt does it – notsomuch.