French Military officials supervise construction of underground wall in Egypt.
|Sunday, December 20,2009 11:03|
French and American officials have been monitoring the construction by Egyptians in installing a series of metal sheets some 60 feet deep along its border. The construction of the wall on the Rafah border is an attempt to block tunnels that serve as a key conduit to get weapons into the Palestinian territory, past .
The border project appears to be one of a series of measures Egypt has taken, some of them in cooperation with the U.S., to crack down on smuggling since the end of Israel’s war on Hamas last winter. The tunnels were a main target of Israel’s offensive.
Residents along the border have witnessed Egyptian construction crews clearing a corridor along the frontier, and then drilling deep holes. They said the workers then filled the trenches with sand. And heavy drilling machinery could be seen operating on the Egyptian side of the border
Egypt has been wary of cooperating to shut the tunnels, which are also used for smuggling everything from food to medicine and construction material. Without tunnel smuggling, Gaza’s already shaky economy — facing a crippling blockade since Hamas seized control of the strip in 2007 — would likely collapse.
Egyptian and Israeli officials said the project along the border was in cooperation with the U.S. and American and French officials have asserted that if the building of this underground proves to be successful then it will be used as a model to continue establishing underground walls in war-zone areas between borders against terrorists.