CAIRO: The Egyptian authorities have demolished 12 homes Friday within the 500 meters annexed to the width of the Sinai-Gaza buffer zone, now amounting to one kilometer along the borders with Gaza Strip, Youm7 reported.
The families, who used to live in the demolished houses, have been compensated.
Other 2,050 families, who have been paid 1,500 EGP ($209) each as a first compensation installment, will have to evacuate 1,220 homes in the area demarcated for the expansion of the buffer zone before mid next week, Youm7 reported.
The buffer zone was announced after Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis killed over 30 military personnel in October. Officials said that “foreigners” were involved in the attack and reported that the majority of the assailants have been killed in subsequent security raids.
Hundreds of tunnels under the Sinai-Gaza Strip borders have been destroyed since the crackdown on militants in the peninsula. Some of the tunnels opened into homes that had been evacuated, as smuggling has been a large business that enriched the owners of these tunnels on both sides of the borders.
On Dec. 30, a 1-700 meter-long tunnel was uncovered in Egypt’s Rafah, Youm7 reported.