Egyptian Court Calls On Morsi To Close All Border Tunnels

Note from occpal: Already in 2009 Egypt was flooding Gaza’s tunnels and plans to go on with it as part of the steel fence measurements which can cause a severe and permanent devastation of the Gazan as well as Egyptian environment | More and video here



 Wednesday February 27, 2013 06:20 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

An Egyptian court ruled Tuesday that all border tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt “must be closed and demolished, as they are draining the Egyptian economy and resources, in addition to the fact that some tunnels are used for smuggling weapons into Gaza”.

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Tunnel – File

The ruling was made amidst an ongoing Egyptian campaign that demolished dozens of tunnels, and flooded them with toxic waste-water since the beginning of the year.

An Egyptian lawyer who filed the lawsuit said that, since the Egyptian revolution started on January 25 2011, thousands of Palestinians crossed into Egypt via the border tunnels.

The lawyer said that the tunnels have drained the Egyptian resources and economy, as Egyptian products and goods are being illegally sent to Gaza.

He also said that weapons, fuel, stolen cars and food supplies are being smuggled into Gaza, an issue that is leading to negative impacts on the Egyptians in Sinai in particular, and in Egypt in general.

Furthermore, Egypt said that it has numerous security concerns regarding the tunnels, and added that some of the gunmen who, in August of last year, killed 16 Egyptian soldiers at an Egyptian military base close to the border with Gaza, in Sinai, entered Egypt through the runnels. Palestinian armed groups in Gaza denied the report, and said that had nothing to do with the attack.

Border tunnels in Gaza became very essential due to the ongoing Israeli siege that was imposed in June of 2007.

Nearly %30 of the goods that enter Gaza are smuggled through the tunnels, and at least 10.000 Palestinians work in these tunnels, the Quds Net news agency reported.

The agency added that the Ministry of Interior in Gaza, run by the Hamas-led government, stated Monday that all border tunnels in Gaza are “well controlled”, and that the government monitors the tunnels to ensure they serve a humanitarian mission that counters the illegal Israeli siege on the coastal region.

Earlier last month, the Egyptian Security Services announced that they managed to uncover a weapons’ storage facility loaded with advances missiles, including antitank and antiaircraft missiles that weapons dealers intended to smuggle into the Gaza Strip via border tunnels.

It is worth mentioning that at approximately 232 have been killed in tunnel collapse accidents, including twenty Palestinians who were killed after the Israeli army bombarded several tunnels as they were in them. Around 800 Palestinians have been injured in these incidents.

Tunnels are also used for smuggling urgently needed medical supplies and medications missing in Gaza Strip hospitals and medical centers due to the Israeli siege.

The siege has left Gazan hospitals and medical center out of basic and specialized supplies and equipment, an issue that has led to the death of more than 400 patients, including infants and children. Many patients died while waiting permits from Israel to cross the border for medical treatment.

RELATED NEWS

Maan News Agency | Febr 13, 2013

184975_345x230[1]GAZA CITY (Reuters) — Egyptian forces have flooded smuggling tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip in a campaign to shut them down, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.

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.

Reporters saw one tunnel being used to bring in cement and gravel suddenly fill with water on Sunday, sending workers rushing for safety. Locals said two other tunnels were likewise flooded, with Egyptians deliberately pumping in water.

“The Egyptians have opened the water to drown the tunnels,” said Abu Ghassan, who supervises the work of 30 men at one tunnel some 200 yards from the border fence.

An Egyptian security official in the Sinai told Reuters the campaign started five days ago.

“We are using water to close the tunnels by raising water from one of the wells,” he said, declining to be named.

Dozens of tunnels had been destroyed since last August following the killing of 16 Egyptian soldiers in a militant attack near the Gaza fence.

Cairo said some of the gunmen had crossed into Egypt via the tunnels — a charge denied by Palestinians — and ordered an immediate crackdown.

The move surprised and angered Gaza’s rulers, which had hoped for much better ties with Cairo following the election last year of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, an Islamist who is ideologically close to Hamas.

A Hamas official confirmed Egypt was again targeting the tunnels. He gave no further details and declined to speculate on the timing of the move, which started while Palestinian faction leaders met in Cairo to try to overcome deep divisions.

Criticizing Cairo

Hamas said Monday the Egyptian-brokered talks, aimed at forging a unity government and healing the schism between politicians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, had gone badly but had not collapsed.

While Gaza’s rulers have been reluctant to criticise Mursi in public, ordinary Gazans are slightly more vocal.

“Egyptian measures against tunnels have worsened since the election of Mursi. Our Hamas brothers thought he would open up Gaza. I guess they were wrong,” said a tunnel owner, who identified himself only as Ayed, fearing reprisal.

“Perhaps 150 or 200 tunnels have been shut since the Sinai attack. This is the Mursi era,” he added.

The tunnellers fear the water being pumped underground might collapse the passage ways, with possible disastrous consequences.

“Water can cause cracks in the wall and may cause the collapse of the tunnel. It may kill people,” said Ahmed al-Shaer, a tunnel worker whose cousin died a year ago when a tunnel caved in on him.

Six Palestinians died in January in tunnel implosions, raising the death toll amongst workers to 233 since 2007, according to Gazan human rights groups, including an estimated 20 who died in various Israeli air attacks on the border lands.

Israel imposed its blockade for what it called security reasons in 2007. The United Nations has appealed for it to be lifted.

At one stage an estimated 2,500-3,000 tunnels snaked their way under the desert fence but the network has shrunk markedly since 2010, when Israel eased some of the limits they imposed on imports into the coastal enclave.

All goods still have to be screened before entering Gaza and Israel says some restrictions must remain on items that could be used to make or to store weapons.

This ensures the tunnels are still active, particularly to bring in building materials. Hamas also prefers using the tunnels to smuggle in fuel, thereby avoiding custom dues that are payable on oil crossing via Israel.


Related in Media

  • Febr 13, 2013 | Egypt floods tunnels on border with Gaza to stop illegal arms trade – RT
  • Febr 13, 2013 | Egypt floods Gaza tunnels cutting vital lifeline – RTE News
  • Febr 13, 2013 | Egypt floods Gaza lifeline tunnels- Al Akhbar English
  • Febr 13, 2013 | Egypt floods Gaza tunnels to cut Palestinian lifeline – Reuters
  • Febr 18, 2013 | Egyptian flooding washes away Gaza tunnel business – Maan
  • Febr 18, 2013 | Destroying Gaza tunnels seen as a punitive, not security measure – Egypt Independent


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PHOTOS | Israel’s Massacre Cast Lead on Gaza 2008-2009




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ஜ۩۞۩ஜ

Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar

ஜ۩۞۩ஜ



* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.





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