Gaza, 20 Rabiul Awwal 1436/19 January 2015 (MINA)– Two Palestinians were injured as an underground smuggling tunnel collapsed on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Saturday, witnesses told Ma’an.
The sources said the tunnel collapsed due to heavy rains.
Both workers were taken to Abu Yousef al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian army discovered another smuggling tunnel as it was evacuating homes while preparing to create a buffer zone with Gaza, security sources told Ma’an, Ma’an News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
An Egyptian security source said that the army’s border guard officers found the tunnel in the Duhniyya neighborhood of the Egyptian side of Rafah city.
The tunnel’s opening was about 600 meters away from the border on the Egyptian side, the source said.
A pickup truck was parked near the opening, loaded with a large amount of cigarettes and other goods smugglers planned to bring into Gaza, he added.
He said four smugglers ran inside the tunnel towards Gaza as the military approached.
Since ousting democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian military has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels under its border with the Gaza Strip, alleging they were used to smuggle weapons and militants who have taken part in attacks on Egyptian security forces.
But the destruction of the tunnels has also led to a tightening of the siege on Gaza.
After a bombing killed more than 30 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai in October the military stepped up the campaign to build a buffer zone with Gaza, amid accusations of Hamas support for the group that carried out the attack, which Hamas has strenuously denied.
The Israeli blockade — supported in practice by Egypt — has severely limited imports and exports as well as movement of people, crippling Gaza’s economy. (T/P010/P3)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)