TEL AVIV, September 2. (Itar-Tass). – Egyptian army is creating a ‘safety zone’ on the Sinai Peninsula along the Gaza Strip border. According to a Jerusalem Post publication with reference to sources in Israeli secret services, residents of an area within 500 meters from the border 10km long are being evicted from their houses, which are then being demolished.
With such actions Egyptian military are trying to prevent Palestinian militants, sympathizing to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, from entering the Peninsula from the Gaza Strip. The recent destruction of about 300 smugglers’ tunnels used by militants to get to Egypt and deliver weapons served the same purposes.
Lately, Egyptian coastal defense ships are on regular duty in the Mediterranean near the Rafaha district on the border between the Palestinian enclave and Egypt. The ships are meant to prevent terrorists from coming from Gaza Strip through sea. On Friday, August 30, Egypt’s naval mariners attacked a vessel which entered Egypt’s maritime belt. The ship allegedly carried Palestinian fishermen. Two of them were injured, another six were arrested.
Measures taken by official Cairo are fairly in line with the situation at hand, when militants-Islamists in Sinai attack military and civil objects almost every day, the Israeli paper writes. However, the Jerusalem Post points to an obvious paradoxical fact: the measures introduced by new Egyptian authorities against Gaza Strip residents are the same sanctions for which they earlier criticized Israel.