AZA CITY — The unrest in Egypt has sparked a severe shortage in goods and fuel in the already isolated Gaza Strip, which relies on smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border for the majority of its imports.
Ahead of the mass protests across Egypt Sunday, Egypt’s military reportedly moved to shut down the tunnels, fearing Gaza-based militants would exploit any potential chaos to stage attacks on Egyptian security forces. Egyptians, panicked that the demonstrations would cause a sudden collapse of the state, stocked up on provisions and on fuel, causing long lines at gas stations across the country.
Now that Egypt’s military issued Monday a 48-hour ultimatum for President Mohamed Morsi and other political forces to resolve the current political crisis, which saw millions take to the streets in protest Sunday, Gazans are even more worried that their economic situation will worsen.
Egyptian news agencies, quoting eyewitnesses, reported that more army troops arrived on Egypt’s side of the border Sunday, the day millions of people took to the streets to protest Morsi on the anniversary of his inauguration. more