Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hamas accuses Egypt of flooding smuggling tunnels along Gaza border with sewage

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – The Gaza Strip's Hamas government and local smugglers are accusing Egypt of flooding cross-border tunnels with sewage water in order to halt a thriving smuggling trade.

Abu Saker, a smuggler on the Egyptian side of the border, says he saw the Egyptian army digging new water wells and pumping wastewater toward the smuggling area on Tuesday. He said he had to halt operations and rush his workers out after his tunnel filled with 1.5 meters (yards) of sewage.

An AP photographer at the scene says at least 15 tunnels filled with wastewater.

Yousef Rizka, an adviser to Hamas' prime minister, urged Egypt to halt "any acts against the tunnels" until official ground crossings are opened.

Egypt had no comment. Israel and Hamas have been negotiating the fate of the tunnels.