Hamas constructs new buffer zone between Gaza and Egypt

Hamas has announced construction of a buffer zone along its border with Egypt.

On Wednesday, the interior ministry in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip said it will start building a buffer zone on the Gaza-Egypt border after reaching an agreement with Cairo. The purpose is allegedly to bolster border security and improve ties with the Egyptian government.

The buffer zone will be a closed-off military area along the southern portion of the Gaza-Sinai border. It will measure 12 kilometers in length and 100 meters in width into the Gaza Strip. Observation towers, lighting and cameras will be used to provide improved border control.

Hamas Security Chief Tawfiq Abu Naim confirmed that the project is the result of a recent understanding between the Gaza-based terror group and Egypt. Specific stated goals are to improve the monitoring of the border area in order to prevent infiltration and smuggling. However, it remains unclear how the Hamas tunnels underneath the Gaza-Sinai border would be affected by the new construction plans.

Abu Naim stressed the importance of cooperation with his Egyptian counterparts.

“The message to the Egyptian side is a calming one: Egyptian national security is part of Palestinian national security, and we will not let the peace along the southern border be disturbed,” he stated.

An unnamed Egyptian official informed Haaretz that the situation in Gaza is of great importance to Egypt’s national security and that Egypt is in constant dialogue with Hamas.

Haaretz reported that according to information from sources in Gaza, many families will be forced to move out of the border area.

Two weeks ago, new Hamas Prime Minister Yahya Sinwar traveled with a delegation of senior officials for talks with Egyptian intelligence representatives in Cairo.

The London-based Arabic paper Asharq Al-Awsat reported that Egypt had offered to ease Gaza’s electricity crisis in return for Hamas handing over 17 wanted terrorist suspects living in the Islamist-ruled coastal enclave.

By: Daniel Krygier, World Israel News