Sat Jan 24, 2015 09:03AM
Demolitions are ongoing along the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip. (© AFP)
Demolitions are ongoing along the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip. (© AFP)
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Egypt has begun evacuating hundreds of families from a town bordering the Gaza Strip, with a senior official acknowledging that the military was eradicating the town in order to complete a security zone abutting the Palestinian territory.

The military began bulldozing the border town, Rafah, several months ago as part of a sweeping response to repeated attacks on Egyptian security personnel in the Sinai Peninsula.

After evacuating hundreds of families and clearing an area stretching 500 yards from the border, the authorities announced that they were doubling the size of the security zone.

Abdel Fattah Harhoor, the governor of North Sinai, said the zone would include “the entire city of Rafah.”

The government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has justified the drastic measures in the Sinai Peninsula, including the razing of Rafah, as being necessary to deter the smuggling of weapons and militants across the border.

Many residents of Rafah complained bitterly about their treatment by the authorities, saying that they had faced shortages of housing in nearby towns and delays in receiving compensation for their lost homes.

Palestinians in Gaza, with their borders controlled by Israel and Egypt, say the security zone leaves them more isolated and bereft of the tunnels that had provided their only outlet to the world.

In this edition of The Sun Will Rise, we discuss how Egypt is squeezing the Gaza Strip with the draconian blockade disguising as security zone.

KQ/HJL