The Hamas government said Sunday it was “surprised” to hear that Egypt is
planning to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza
Ehab Ghissin, spokesman for the Hamas government, said that there
should be no buffer zones “between brothers and friendly
Ghissin expressed hope that the Egyptian move would not
“solidify the blockade” and increase the suffering of the people in the Gaza
He called for establishing a free trade area instead of a buffer
zone along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
newspapers quoted Palestinian sources as saying that 90 percent of the smuggling
tunnels along the border with the Gaza Strip have stopped functioning as a
result of Egypt’s security measures.
The sources said that the Egyptian
army was waging an “unprecedented” campaign to destroy houses and
According to the sources, the planned buffer zone would be
between 25 and 500 meters wide and 10 kilometers long.
of Egyptian families demonstrated on the Egyptian side of the border in protest
against the demolition of their homes by the army.
The protesters said
that the Egyptian army has notified many families living close to the border
with the Gaza Strip of its intention to demolish their homes as part of its
effort to create a buffer zone in the area.
The families said that in the
past few days the Egyptian army destroyed several houses without allowing them
time to remove their furniture and personal belongings.
authorities have also banned Palestinian fishermen from entering Egypt’s
territorial waters near the Egyptian town of Rafah.
Egyptian naval troops opened fire at a fishermen’s boat near Rafah, injuring six
people. The Hamas government has demanded clarifications from the Egyptians over
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