Egypt's crackdown on smuggling tunnels to the Gaza Strip will not succeed unless alternatives to importing produce are provided, an official in Gaza's Hamas-run government said Wednesday.
Several days ago, Egyptian forces began flooding smuggling tunnels under the Gaza border in a campaign to shut them down.(...)
"This is not the first time the Egyptian authorities have tried to shut down the tunnels, but neither of of the attempts have been successful," Minister of Economy Alaa Rafati told Ma'an.
The government in Gaza has informed Cairo several times that an official commercial route should be opened along the border, including a duty-free zone, Rafati said.
"We are interested in entry of all goods via Rafah crossing," the minister said.
Rafati said that despite the flooding of tunnels, all goods, including fuel, were still entering the enclave.
"Some Egyptian commanders are flooding tunnels on their own for personal interests," he added.
Muhammad al-Abadla, a member of the union of gas station owners, said fuel supplies had been affected by the Egyptian crackdown but that the situation was not critical.