Hamas smuggles thousands of tonnes of cement into Gaza through Egypt

By June 19 2015, 15:08 Latest News No Comments

TunnelsEgyptian authorities this week decided to openthe Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Sinai for three extra days until Friday, allowing Hamas to smuggle tonnes of cement into Gaza.

Palestinian sources say that since the Rafah crossing has been temporarily reopened, 4,000 tonnes a day of cement has passed through it unsupervised. Israeli officials are concerned that the cement that could be used by Hamas for the reconstruction of its terror tunnels, as in recent months, reports have emerged that Hamas has been rebuilding its tunnels and terror infrastructure.

According to these sources, some 10,000 tonnes of cement had already entered the Gaza Strip by Monday night.

Around 7,000 tonnes of cement enter the Gaza Strip from Israel each month under close supervision of the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism agreed by the IDF, the UN and the Palestinian Authority following the end of Operation Protective Edge.

The crossing was originally set to be opened for three days since Saturday , but Egypt has since extended its opening time by two days until Wednesday and for two additional days until Friday, as a Ramadan goodwill gesture.

Egypt had closed the crossing during Operation Protective Edge last summer, and has only recently started to reopen it again intermittently. Since the beginning of 2015, the Rafah border crossing has only been opened for movement in both directions a total of five days.

Since 2013, the Egyptian Army has intermittently closed the Rafah border, due to its own concerns in preventing Hamas from smuggling arms to Salafist terrorists operating in the volatile Sinai Peninsula.

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