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Arms Supplies to Hamas Disrupted by Egyptian Siege

Egypt's destruction of Sinai tunnels has created an arms shortage in Gaza.
A Palestinian Hamas militant takes part in a protest against peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, in Gaza City September 14, 2013. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTX13LA6
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Since the Egyptian army began demolishing the more than 1,000 tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai, Palestinians have analyzed the resulting economic damage, price hikes and deteriorating living conditions in Gaza. The Hamas government published a study about the issue, but one effect of the tunnel demolitions has not been adequately reported because of its confidential nature — the drop in the weapons supply to Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, including how they are trying to make up for the resulting shortages and how it affects the confrontation with Israel.

As reported in Al-Monitor, before Egypt's tough measures, the tunnels were a lifeline for Gaza arms dealers and Palestinian factions smuggling weapons and ammunition. The last Gaza war, in November 2012, only ended when Egypt pledged to Israel that it would undertake unremitting efforts to stop the smuggling of weapons through the tunnels to prevent Hamas from preparing for the next round of fighting.

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