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Tuesday, June 7, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Egypt resumes counter-smuggling operations
at Gaza border suspended during protests

CAIRO — Egypt has renewed operations along the border with the Gaza Strip.


Security sources said Egyptian security forces renewed patrols and counter-smuggling operations along the 14-kilometer border with the Gaza Strip. They said the security forces have been searching for smuggling convoys and tunnels.

"There has been a resumption of operations that were suspended since the protests [in February]," a security source said.

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On June 2, security forces found and sealed the opening of three tunnels from the Sinai to the Gaza Strip. The tunnels were located near a residential neighborhood north of the divided city of Rafah.

The sources said nobody was arrested in the Egyptian operation. They said security forces did not confiscate any smuggled goods.

In 2010, Egypt suspended construction of the last phase of a border security barrier. Palestinian smugglers have asserted that the steel barrier was penetrated, which enabled smuggling to and from the Gaza Strip.

The sources said Palestinian smugglers continued to operate despite Egypt's decision to open the border with the Gaza Strip. On June 6, a 22-year-old worker, identified as Sami Nadi, was killed in the collapse of a smuggling tunnel underneath the Egyptian-Gaza border.

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