Egypt is to close its sea border to the Gaza-bound supplies as it reinforces the restrictions against the passage of sustenance into the strip.
Cairo has ordered a port to be built at its maritime border with the Gaza Strip, a security official was quoted by AFP as saying. The security boats there would then “prevent all future attempts to smuggle Palestinian contraband,” he added.
The surveillance multiplies the restrictions Cairo has placed along the terrestrial border at a time when the coastal sliver of 1.5-million population continues to suffer from an all-out Israeli-imposed blockade which has deprived it of its basic necessities for almost three years.
Egypt has kept shut the Rafah border crossing — the sliver’s only border that bypasses Israel — claiming that the border post is an Egyptian-Israeli crossing and should not be used without Tel Aviv’s permission.
The Egyptian government is additionally building a steel wall along the Gaza border to prevent the trafficking of any goods into the strip.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said late last month that “fortifications along our eastern border are a work of Egyptian sovereignty, and we refuse to enter into a debate with anyone [about them].”
Egypt has also banned all relief convoys from using its territory to enter Gaza after causing numerous complications for the high-profile Viva Palestina convoy, which had departed for the enclave headed by British member of parliament George Galloway.