Egypt bull­dozes homes

The Barrie Examiner - - WORLD -

CAIRO — Egypt’s mil­i­tary has bull­dozed at least 140 homes and more than 80 hectares along the Gaza Strip border, ex­pand­ing a buf­fer zone in an ef­fort to cut off the flow of weapons and mil­i­tants. The gover­nor of Northern Sinai province, Maj. Gen. Ab­del-Fatah Harhour, said late Monday that the mil­i­tary be­gan a new phase in clear­ing the zone. Egypt has strug­gled to com­bat an Is­lamic State-led in­sur­gency in the northern Sinai since 2014, and has built the buf­fer zone to pre­vent the mil­i­tants from us­ing a vast tun­nel net­work un­der the border that was cre­ated to evade a decade-old Is­raeli and Egyp­tian block­ade on the ter­ri­tory. Ha­mas, the Pales­tinian mil­i­tant group that rules Gaza, has also worked to se­cure the border in re­cent months as it tries to im­prove ties with Cairo. Ha­mas has cracked down on more ex­treme ri­vals, in­clud­ing sup­port­ers of Is­lamic State. Harhour said the gov­ern­ment has promised to com­pen­sate those who lost their homes and farms. “We have cre­ated com­mit­tees to list those who should re­ceive such com­pen­sa­tion,” he said. He said the res­i­dents at first re­ceived checks worth 3,000 Egyp­tian pounds (nearly $170) each to pay for “al­ter­na­tive ac­com­mo­da­tion.” The As­so­ci­ated Press

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