Skip to main content

Egypt's Buffer-Zone Move Shocks Hamas

Egypt's decision to establish a buffer zone on the Gaza border has raised Palestinian fears of a possible armed confrontation.
A Palestinian man drives on the border between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip September 3, 2013. Egyptian security forces have destroyed some 20 houses along the border with Gaza, local residents said on Tuesday, in what the Palestinian enclave's Islamist Hamas rulers fear is an effort to build a buffer zone to isolate them. 
REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX135NS

The Palestinians are wary about the Egyptian army’s movements on Gaza’s southern border. There have been reports that Egyptian military vehicles are doing more than just demolishing the tunnels and closing the smuggling routes, as a number of Egyptian officials have stated. The Palestinians, Hamas in particular, have become very concerned about reports that Egypt may set up a buffer zone along the Gaza-Egypt border.

Information on that subject is scarce, but Al-Monitor learned during a meeting with a security official in Gaza that the Egyptian army will establish a 500-meter buffer zone along the Gaza border to prevent smuggling and to control the tunnels.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.