Egypt further besieging Gaza by flooding border: Hamas
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says Egypt is further besieging the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip by flooding the border area, calling on Cairo to call off the project.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made the remarks during a speech to commemorate the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis on Thursday.
“Why are they (the Egyptians) digging those trenches and those water pipes around Rafah [border crossing]? … We are telling our Egyptian brothers: Stop this project. We will do our duty against those who besiege Gaza and plot against it,” Haniyeh said.
Over the past few weeks, Egyptian military bulldozers have been digging through the sand along Egypt’s border with Gaza in an attempt to flood underground tunnels used by Palestinians to transfer essential supplies, including food and fuel, into the besieged coastal sliver.
Earlier this month, witnesses said the tunnels were submerged by water from the Mediterranean Sea through underground pipes with holes on them.
The Egyptian military said in mid-June that it had demolished about 1,430 underground tunnels between the country and the Gaza Strip over a period of 18 months.
Egypt argues that the operation is aimed at ending what it claims to be the smuggling of weapons to militants operating in the North African country’s troubled Sinai Peninsula.
The Cairo government has repeatedly blamed a series of terror attacks in Sinai on Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007. Hamas denies these allegations.
Since 2007, the Tel Aviv regime maintains its land, air and sea blockade on more than 1.8 million people living in Gaza, denying them the most basic items like food, medicine and fuel.
This is while the Gaza Strip is still reeling from Israel’s 50-day military offensive last year, which left nearly 2,200 Palestinians dead and more than 11,000 others wounded.