Egypt has once again sealed its Rafah border crossing abutting Gaza, declaring the closure is a response to a suicide bombing carried out October 24th in the Sinai. The bombing killed 33 Egyptian soldiers and triggered widespread national mourning in the nation of some 87 million.
 
In recent days, Egyptian security forces have discovered and destroyed hundreds of additional smuggling tunnels that lace into the Sinai. Egyptian officials claim to have located and disabled more than 1,600 smuggling tunnels since Mohammed Morsi was deposed on July 3, 2013.
 
More than just tunnels, the Egyptian army has also begun razing homes on the Rafah border with Gaza. Reports from homeowners indicate often they only have 3 days to relocate before the bulldozers arrive. Thus far, about 800 homes have been targetted for demolition, the purpose being to create a cleared buffer zone on the Gaza border.
 
Cairo authorities have stressed that the security of the all Egyptians is at stake, necessitating speedy measures. The Gaza buffer zone is planned as 500-meter cleared corridor, featuring a 20-meter-deep trench along the entire eight-mile long border. Demolition of some homes has already begun.
 
In the background, shooting and ambushes of Egyptian soliders in Sinai continues to escalate. Cairo blames Hamas elements in Gaza for the outbreak of terrorism. Hamas officials deny the charge.

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Edwin Black is the author of several books, including War Against the Weak, IBM and the Holocaust, Banking on Baghdad, and The Farhud. A veteran and award-winning investigative journalist, he is also the editor of The Cutting Edge News.

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