Egypt reportedly combing Rafah area for tunnels

'Al-Sharq al Awsat': Egyptian sources say tunnel entrances hidden inside closets, bathrooms.

gaza tunnel 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
gaza tunnel 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Egyptian security forces are combing the area of Rafah for tunnels that could be used for the smuggling of weapons and goods, Al-Sharq al Awsat daily reported Tuesday. According to Egyptian sources quoted by the London-based newspaper, since breaching the border with Egypt, Palestinians have dug new smuggling tunnels. "We have information corroborating that Palestinian smugglers have resumed smuggling after exploiting [the breach in the border] in recent days to maintain the tunnels and prevent their collapse," the Egyptian security official told the paper. According to the report, in December 2007 and January 2008, Egyptian security forces uncovered 11 tunnels that were 1,200 meters long and 17 meters deep. Egyptian security forces were successful in garnering accurate intelligence on Egyptians who were assisting the Palestinian smugglers by allowing them to dig the tunnel entrances in their homes, the report quoted the officials as saying. "It is hard to uncover tunnels that are located inside houses in Egyptian Rafah and lead to Palestinian Rafah because they are hidden inside closets, kitchens and even bathrooms," they said.