News

100 Homes ‘Cleared’ As Egypt Expands Buffer Zone With Gaza

100 Homes ‘Cleared’ As Egypt Expands Buffer Zone With Gaza
Destruction of homes in November 2014 during the first phase of the buffer zone.
Destruction of homes in November 2014 during the first phase of the buffer zone.

Egyptian authorities cleared 100 houses and destroyed 12 others on Thursday on the first day of expanding the “buffer zone” between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, described as phase II, army sources said early Friday.

Residents “largely” responded to the evacuation process, which proceeded calmly, in recognition of the danger of the tunnels, and the need to combat them, the sources added.

The authorities began on Thursday clearing houses located in the border area of North Sinai’s Rafah in preparation for expanding the “buffer zone” between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

A total of 1220 houses sheltering around 2044 families exist in the “buffer area” to be cleared, state-run MENA reported, adding that phase II is expected to be concluded during this week.

Egypt’s cabinet issued on October 29, 2014 a decision to clear 500 metres of the border area with Gaza of civilians, vowing to provide compensation for those evicted. The area was doubled to 1,000 meters in November, after discovering some tunnels in the Peninsula over 800 metres long.

The cabinet’s evacuation decision allows the forcible seizure of the property of those who refuse to comply. It also excludes those who shelter tunnels under their houses from entitlement to compensation.

Security forces have been targeting tunnels dug up in the Sinai to connect it with Gaza. Egyptian authorities say the tunnels are used to smuggle arms to militants in the Peninsula, while Sinai residents argue that the tunnels provide them with a source of income as they use them to trade goods with the besieged Gaza Strip.

Militants have stepped up attacks targeting security forces in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula, since the army’s ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, which followed mass protests against his rule.

At least 30 military personnel were killed in a suicide blast which targeted a security checkpoint in Sinai’s Sheikh Zuweid on October 24, 2014 in the worst militant attack since Mursi’s ouster.

For The Next 19 Weeks, This Saudi Activist Will Be Lashed 950 Times
Is this the end of Egypt's king of fuul?

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@AswatMasriya_En

Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

More in News

Protesters gather to demonstrate Egypt's decision to declare two Red Sea islands as Saudi Arabian. Khaled Ali, pictured, brought a case to the Administrative Court against the decision. Credit: Belal Darder

Egypt’s Constitutional Court Rules Against Interior Minister Authority to Ban Protests

Aya NaderDecember 3, 2016
pablo-4

Egypt’s Foreign Minister in ‘First Meeting’ Between Arab Official and US Vice President-elect

Egyptian StreetsDecember 1, 2016
A street in Luxor.

UK Court Allows British Woman to Adopt Girl ‘Found in a Box’ in Egypt’s Luxor

Egyptian StreetsNovember 30, 2016
egypt parliament

Egypt’s Parliament Passes Controversial NGO Law

Aswat MasriyaNovember 30, 2016
The arrival hall is empty at the Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in south Sinai, Egypt, Monday. Airbus executives say they are confident in the safety of the A321 that crashed Oct. 31 in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Photo: AP

UN World Tourism Organization Urges UK to Return Flights to Sharm El-Sheikh

Egyptian StreetsNovember 29, 2016
Ministry_of_Foreign_Affairs_of_Egypt_Cairo

No Egyptian Soldiers Fighting in Syria: Egypt’s Foreign Ministry

Egyptian StreetsNovember 28, 2016
Archive Photo. Credit: Asmaa Waguih/ Reuters

Al-Jazeera Documentary on Egyptian Conscripts Reignites Media War with Qatar

Aswat MasriyaNovember 27, 2016
RiseUp 2015, which saw the presence of over 4000 attendees

Cairo to Attract 5,000 Investors and Entrepreneurs in RiseUp Summit Next Month

Nayrouz TalaatNovember 26, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.