(JNS.org) Egypt has launched a new operation to crack down on Gaza smuggling tunnels in the wake of last week’s deadly terror attack that left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead in the northern Sinai.
On Sunday and Monday, residents of the Gaza-Egypt border city of Rafah could hear powerful explosions as homes suspected of containing tunnel entrances were being demolished as part of a plan announced by the Egyptian government to carve out a security buffer zone in the region.
“Efforts are continuing to deal with the danger of the tunnels, which are becoming more sophisticated. Criminal and terrorist elements are using homes and houses of worship as part of their operations,” an Egyptian defense official stated, Haaretz reported.
Egyptian authorities have also discussed erecting an eight-mile barrier along the Gaza border to prevent infiltration by terrorists, Fox News reported.
On Sunday, Egypt closed its border crossing with Gaza in response to the attacks and postponed its involvement in mediation between Israel and Hamas.
Egyptian authorities blamed terrorists from Gaza for carrying out the deadly attack by either using old tunnels that had yet to be destroyed or newly dug tunnels. Egypt has accused Hamas of aiding Sinai-based terrorist groups like Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, who have carried out dozens of terror attacks against Egyptian forces in the region.