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Sunday, February 17, 2013
Egypt forces say 225 Gaza tunnels found under border

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Standing by for reports from Gaza of the impact
of these efforts on prices. And from Israel's standpoint, most important:
prices for weapons, ammunition and other such contraband.]

Egypt forces say 225 Gaza tunnels found under border
Published today (updated) 17/02/2013 16:09
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=565928

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptian forces have discovered over 225
smuggling tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip, a military
spokesperson said Sunday.

Egyptian military spokesperson Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Ali told Ma'an that the
army is continuing with efforts to close down the network of underground
tunnels.

"Each tunnel has several exits, including inside Egyptian houses, and thus
can be difficult to detect. There may therefore be as many as over 500
tunnels," he added.

Earlier this week, Egyptian forces flooded smuggling tunnels under the
border with the Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and
Palestinian officials said.

Reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly
fill with water last Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said
two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping
in water.

One tunnel owner said that 150-200 tunnels had been closed since an attack
in Sinai last August, which left 16 Egyptian soldiers dead.

At one stage an estimated 2,500-3,000 tunnels snaked their way under the
desert fence but the network has shrunk markedly since 2010.

Israel imposed its blockade for what it called security reasons in 2007,
although human rights groups have called it a form of collective punishment.

The tunnel network developed as a vital source of goods under Israel's
blockade of the coastal strip and Egyptian restrictions on the official
Rafah crossing point.

Reuters contributed to this report

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