The Egyptian army has constructed a trench to counter gaza tunnels at Rafah along Gaza border a move that is expected to prevent smugglers from operating in the area.
According to the army the trench has been widened and measures 20 meters deep and 10 meters wide and is located 2 kilometers from the troubled border of Gaza outside Rafah city.
The Egyptian infrastructure is part of the larger buffer zone being constructed in the area and its aim is to prevent smugglers from driving their vehicles to curtailing the gaza tunnels along the border therefore reducing the smuggling cases that has been a big problem facing Egypt.
Accordng to the Egyptian military officials the army also plans to expand the trench and install watchtowers along its length which will be operated all the hours.
The construction in the buffer zone on the Egyptian side began in February 2014, but was at the time slated to extend only about 300 meters in urban areas and 500 meters in rural areas.
The project was further energized when a bombing occurred in Sinai that claimed more than 30 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai in October 2014 however the military stepped up a campaign to build the buffer zone amid accusations of Hamas support for the group that carried out the attack.
Deteriorating relations between Egypt and Hamas come at a high price to Gaza’s 1.8 million residents for whom the smuggling tunnels have served as a lifeline to the outside world since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the coastal enclave in 2007.