Egypt™s military has destroyed most of the underground tunnels on the Egyptian side of the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, Press TV reports.
The Egyptian military has announced that since the beginning of this year, it has destroyed 794 tunnels blowing, bulldozing or funneling water into the tunnels.
The military has stepped up the destruction of the tunnels on the Egyptian side of the border since July™s ouster of the former president, Mohamed Morsi.
Several Palestinians have lost their lives as they were caught up in the tunnels during destruction operations.
More than 80 percent of the tunnels are no longer functional following their destruction by the Egyptian security forces.
The underground facilities serve as a lifeline for Gaza population of over 1.7 million. Egypt™s destruction of tunnels running to the Israeli-blockaded territories has therefore caused a shortage of fuel and other goods.
œTunnels were central in our lives, almost like a backbone. The Israeli blockade is hurting us. So does the Egyptian army™s crackdown on tunnels,” said a Gaza resident.
Several human rights organizations and civil groups have criticized the Egyptian army for preventing the people in Gaza from accessing most of their basic goods like construction materials, food, and fuel.
The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO), which represents more than 130 Palestinian civil society organizations, also called on the international community to end the œcontinuous Israeli siege.”
According to Amjad Shawa, a PNGO member, œGaza is recently suffering from a catastrophic condition due to the continuous Israeli siege for the seventh year. We are calling on the international community in order to act immediately to end the siege.”
The destruction of the tunnels has reportedly led to an increase in the price of fuel and other commodities in the coastal territory. Palestinians have to wait in long lines at gas stations and face daily power outages that last up to 14 hours.
Copyright: Press TV