Middle East

Hamas urges Egypt to open tunnels

A Palestinian man helps a smuggler to ascend a tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip on September 30, 2012. AFP PHOTO/SAID KHATIB

GAZA CITY: The Gaza Strip's ruling Hamas movement has staged a small demonstration criticizing an Egyptian crackdown on cross-border smuggling tunnels.

Several dozen people participated in Sunday's demonstration in Rafah, a town straddling the Gaza-Egypt border.

Smuggling tunnels have been the lifeblood of the Gaza economy since Hamas seized power five years ago and Israel imposed a blockade on the territory.

Egypt has often turned a blind eye to the smuggling. But Hamas says in recent weeks, Egypt has closed about 80 percent of the roughly 450 tunnels, and recently all shipments to Rafah have stopped.

The move is a response to an attack by Islamic militants that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

Hamas official Yousef Farhat urged Egypt to "stop its campaign against the tunnels" or find an alternative route for trade.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here