Egypt blows up more Gaza tunnels, triggers crisis

 
Smoke rises following an explosion at a smuggling tunnel dug beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on August 31, 2013.

 
Smoke rises following an explosion at a smuggling tunnel dug beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on August 31, 2013. This picture shows the border between Egypt (falling on the left) and the Palestinian territories (falling on the right), September 3, 2013.

Smoke rises following an explosion at a smuggling tunnel dug beneath the Gaza-Egypt border in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah on August 31, 2013.
Egypt military has blown up more tunnels on the Egyptian side of the border with the besieged Gaza Strip, security sources say.



This comes after Egypt stepped up limitations on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by blowing up dozens of tunnels under its border with Gaza. 



The military has increased the destruction of the tunnels on the Egyptian side of the border since July’s ouster of the former president, Mohammed Morsi. 



Egyptian troops have destroyed dozens of facilities by blowing, bulldozing or funneling water into the tunnels. 



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's population of over 1.7 million. Egypt’s destruction of tunnels running to the Israeli-blockaded territories has caused a shortage of fuel and other goods. 



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 demolishment 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. 



The army says the destructions are necessary to fight militants in North Sinai Peninsula. The Egyptian army is also reported to be planning to impose a buffer zone along the border with Gaza.

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