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Egypt discovers record-length smuggling tunnel

The recent discovery of a 2.8 kilometer-long tunnel linking the Sinai to Gaza raised questions about the parties supporting digging operations, as such work requires expensive and advanced equipment, as well as an extensive labor force.
Smoke rises after a house is blown up during a military operation by Egyptian security forces in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip November 6, 2014. At Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, families are emptying their homes - lugging mattresses and furniture onto waiting vans as soldiers look on from armoured cars. In nine villages along the frontier, 680 houses - homes to 1,165 families - are being razed to seal off smugglers' tunnels and try to crush a militant insurgency

CAIRO — “Tunnels are gates for terrorism and external support of terrorism from Gaza to Sinai,” security expert Maj. Gen. Khalid Okasha said when asked about the news of the buffer zone expansion on the border between the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The news came after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi — temporarily in charge of the legislative power until the election of parliament — issued a law on April 12 to maximize to life imprisonment (25 years) the penalty of digging tunnels linking the Egyptian border to any other state. Also, using such tunnels or being aware of their existence without reporting them is to be punished.

Okasha told Al-Monitor, “Expanding the buffer zone, maximizing tunnel digging and using sanctions will restore stability to Sinai and decrease the amount of terrorist attacks that often enter into Egypt from the Gaza border."

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