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Hamas official condemns flooding of Gaza tunnels by Egyptian authorities

Hamas official slams Egyptian officials for flooding tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, describing the act as a renewal of Israel's blockade

Ahram Online , Saturday 16 Feb 2013
Gaza tunnels
File photo: Palestinian workers rest while rebuilding a destroyed smuggling tunnel area along the Egypt Gaza border is seen from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012 (Photo: AP)
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Hamas released a statement Saturday condemning the Egyptian government for flooding tunnels connecting Egypt to the Gaza Strip, reported AFP.

Khalil El-Haya, a senior Hamas official, said at a conference in Gaza that the tunnels were the only means way by which Palestinians could face Israel's "brutal blockade."

He added that people in Gaza consider Egypt's new policy of shutting down the tunnels as a renewal of Israel's blockade imposed on Gaza since 2006.

Last week, Reuters reported that Egyptian forces flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip in an attempt to close them down. Egyptian and Palestinian officials confirmed the report.

The network of tunnels is a vital lifeline for Gaza, bringing in an estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave and circumventing a blockade imposed by Israel for more than seven years.

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