GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egypt's crackdown on smuggling tunnels to the Gaza Strip will not succeed unless alternatives to importing produce are provided, an official in Gaza's Hamas-run government said Wednesday.
Several days ago, Egyptian forces began flooding smuggling tunnels under the Gaza border in a campaign to shut them down. The tunnels have provided a lifeline to Palestinians since Israel intensified its blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
"This is not the first time the Egyptian authorities have tried to shut down the tunnels, but neither of of the attempts have been successful," Minister of Economy Alaa Rafati told Ma'an.
The government in Gaza has informed Cairo several times that an official commercial route should be opened along the border, including a duty-free zone, Rafati said. more