Gaza barrier a ‘sovereign right’
EGYPT: A state-owned Cairo daily confirmed on Thursday that
Egypt is building an underground barrier with Gaza and said it was a
“sovereign right” that would increase pressure on the enclave’s Hamas
“The barrier... is the same barrier that currently exists but with
the addition of underground foundations,” Al-Gomhuria said in a
“Egypt, which protects its sovereignty, has the right to develop the
barrier separating it and Gaza. It has a right to have a wall that is
strong and not subject to collapse.”
The editorial is the closest Egypt has so far come to officially
confirming it is building the underground barrier to stem smuggling into
Gaza through underground tunnels.
Previously security sources had only confirmed witness reports
anonymously. Egypt’s independent press has been highly critical of the
government’s move to tighten the existing blockade of Gaza’s 1.5 million
residents, who rely on the tunnels for everything from cars to
cigarettes, as well as weapons.
But Al-Gomhuria was unapologetic.
“Some people have tried to portray Egypt as playing a part in the
blockade of Palestinians by tightening the openings used for smuggling
weapons... but smuggling weapons through Sinai is a direct attack on the
sovereignty of Egypt,” the paper said. CAIRO, Friday, AFP