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Monday, 27 May 2019

Hamas demands alternative after Egypt army closes Gaza tunnels

Spokesman highlights tunnels' importance to daily life in Gaza, asks Egypt army for legal alternative to transport goods across border

Al Ahram's Arabic news website, Wednesday 17 Jul 2013
Gaza tunnel
Palestinians rest as a worker repairs a smuggling tunnel flooded by Egyptian forces, beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip (Photo: Reuters).
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Hamas spokesman Ehab Al-Ghaseen said on Wednesday that the Egyptian army has initiated a campaign to close smuggling tunnels to Gaza.

"These campaigns were initiated for specific political reasons," added the spokesman.

Al-Ghaseen stressed the need for a formal commercial alternative before the tunnels are closed, saying that calls to Egypt have been made concerning the matter.

The suspension of smuggling activities has led to a serious gas shortage, added Al-Ghaseen, who underlined the tunnels' importance to the Strip.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian NGO Network issued a joint press statement condemning Egyptian media incitement against Palestinians, aimed at "defaming Palestinian citizens."  

A number of "unfortunate" decisions have been made regarding Palestinian mobility at border crossings and airports to and from Egypt, the statement added. The statement did not elaborate on the nature of these decisions nor the party responsible for them.

The Network expressed sympathy for Egyptian concerns given the recent political unrest, but called on Egyptian authorities and civil society organisations to limit incitement before it damages relations between Egypt and Gaza.

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