The second phase of North Sinai’s buffer zone has reached EGP 93m for families from 313 houses that were demolished, North Sinai Governor General Abdel Fattah Harhour told Daily News Egypt Saturday.
The second phase covers 500 metres where 1,220 houses are marked for demolition in the area. The first phase had covered the first 500 metres of the border and involved the demolition of 837 houses.
The compensations are still being distributed to the dislocated families of the first phase and have so far reached EGP 268m, added Harhour.
The amounts are intended to compensate for the houses and land taken, however the money distributed so far is only for the demolished houses, said Harhour.
In addition to the compensations, the government pays each family an amount of EGP 1,500 distributed on 3 months period until dislocated families find places to live.
The buffer zone is one of the measures undertaken to counter the insurgency in North Sinai. The decision to create a buffer zone, to destroy all underground smuggling tunnels leading to Gaza, arrived in the wake of the 24 October attacks on security personnel, which left at least 30 dead. “State of Sinai”, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, claimed the attacks.
The buffer zone was initially set to be 1km long however the decision to extend it to 5km came following the discovery of 1,700 metre long tunnel in late December. The discovered tunnel is not the longest as, just last week, the armed forces found another 2,500 metre long tunnel.