By Nasser al-Azazi
On Sunday, units from the armed forces’ Engineering Brigade destroyed a number of tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip from Egypt, many of which were reportedly used to smuggle gasoline and diesel fuel supplies.
Eyewitnesses living in Rafah stated that the armed forces found a number of pumps used to siphon off fuel and help smuggle it across the border into Gaza.
A security source said the armed forces used dredging techniques to destroy the pumps, adding that they would continue to do so in order to destroy the remaining tunnels used for smuggling. He emphasised that these tunnels represent a threat to national security. The source added that fuel smuggling had a direct effect on residents of North Sinai, leading to shortages in cities located throughout the region.
A total of 445 individuals were registered trying to cross the Rafah border Saturday between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, with 268 arriving from Gaza and the remaining attempting to enter the strip.
Border crossing procedures were implemented according to regulations put in place on 28 May 2011. Since this date, a total of 887,931 individuals have crossed between Egypt and the strip, with 442,875 arriving from Gaza, and the remaining travelers leaving Egypt and entering Gaza.
Egyptian authorities reopened the crossing for movement early Saturday morning after it was closed for several days following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
The Rafah Border crossing was open on Saturday for a period of four hours and would remain open on a daily basis until all those waiting to cross had been allowed to do so. Those awaiting approval to cross between Egypt and the Gaza Strip often carry dual citizenship and attempt to cross in order to receive medical treatment or visit family.