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Egypt evicts Rafah residents to create buffer zone

Residents on the Egyptian side of Rafah are demanding compensation for lost homes, as the Egyptian army moves to build a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip.
Egyptian soldiers stand guard atop a mosque's minaret in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip September 8, 2013. Egyptian security forces have destroyed at least 20 houses along the border with Gaza, local residents said, 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 (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) - RTX13CMO

RAFAH, Egypt — Concern has spread among residents of the border areas in the northern Sinai Peninsula following the Egyptian army's planned establishment of a buffer zone on the Egyptian side of Rafah along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The undeclared move prompted local concern that a new reality is being secretly shaped, and that the government has adopted a policy of strategic patience to draw the map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the expense of the people in Sinai.

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