As Israel is allegedly gearing up to allow more fuel, cement and iron through to Gaza, Egypt is conducting major crackdowns. Sobhi Ridwan, an official in the Gaza city of Rafah reported to the French-based AFP news that 'the Egyptian army has destroyed 95 percent of the tunnels with the aim of setting up a security buffer zone." The tunnels have been used to smuggle weapons, drugs, and other contraband as well as fuel and cement. Gaza is currently ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization and is located in between Israel and Egypt. It was part of Israel until the 2005 Disengagement.
Yasser Othman the Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian Authority said the crackdown on the tunnels was to curb the increasing lawlessness in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula which borders on Gaza.
The Egyptian government has been destroying the tunnels since the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. AFP news called Morsi an ally of Hamas due to his membership with the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood.
A PA official told AFP news on Tuesday that for the first time in six years building materials such as cement, iron and gravel will be delivered from Israel to Gaza for the private sector starting on Sunday.