Egyptian Army Destroyed 521 Gaza Tunnels over Last 6 Months

May 27, 2015  

Egyptian security forces have destroyed more than 500 tunnels infiltrating Egypt from Gaza, according to state media.

Egyptian military spokesman Mohammed Samir told the state-owned Al-Ahram daily that the army had uncovered 521 tunnel entrances from Gaza into the Sinai Peninsula over the past six months, including 63 openings located between 1-2.8 km from the border.

The Sinai Peninsula has seen a series of major military operations by Egyptian forces aimed at rooting-out Islamist terrorists conducting an insurgency against the central government, many of whom have links to terrorists organizations inside Gaza.

As part of operations, Egypt has sought to shut down the complex and extensive network of smuggling tunnels from Gaza, used to transfer both commercial goods as well as weapons and fighters in and out of the Hamas-run enclave.

Earlier this month, Cairo claimed the Egyptian army had killed 725 jihadists in operations the past six months.

But terrorists have still managed to launch deadly attacks of their own, particularly in Sinai’s restive northern region.

As part of its crackdown in the Sinai, Egypt is working to establish a buffer zone along the border with Gaza. The buffer was initially planned to be 500 meters wide, but was later expanded by another 500 meters.

In establishing the buffer zone, Egypt has destroyed at least 1,220 homes belonging mostly to Palestinian Arabs in the city of Rafah, which straddles the border with Gaza, and “evacuated” their residents elsewhere.

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