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Why is Egypt building a wall along its border with Gaza?

Although it coincides with Washington’s Mideast peace plan, observers and experts say they believe that safeguarding and boosting national security are the real reasons behind Egypt's decision to build a new wall along its border with the Gaza Strip.

CAIRO — Al-Monitor revealed Feb. 14 that Egyptian authorities had begun the first phase for building a tall concrete wall on the border with the Gaza Strip. Tribal sources told Al-Monitor that the wall will extend from the Kerem Shalom crossing to the Rafah border crossing. Meanwhile, the Egyptian armed forces have not made any official announcement on the wall. 

The sources said the wall is 6 meters (20 feet) high and goes 5 meters (16 feet) underground and will be parallel to the old concrete barrier topped with barbed wire that was built on the border in early 2008; the walls will be separated by a distance not exceeding 10 meters (33 feet). The new wall, which sources said was begun Jan. 27, aims to prevent the entry of armed militants from Sinai into Gaza and close the remaining tunnels along the border.

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