The Hamas movement leading Gaza is facing growing pressure this week with a counter-terror campaign along its border as well as challenges to its authority from within Gaza.
The Egyptian army has reportedly been continuing its campaign to destroy smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border. According to Palestine Press, the Egyptian army has demolished five tunnels so far in the past few days alone.
The army has reportedly been bringing tunnels down with explosives, and then filling them with water. The report also stated that the Egyptian army demolished some buildings along the border.
While Gaza leaders have complained of a “blockade,” food, clothing, medicine and many other goods enter the area freely via Israeli and Egyptian crossings. The tunnels to Egypt are used primarily for smuggling weapons and other contraband.
As the Egyptian army worked to destroy the smuggling tunnels, the new Gaza branch of the group Tamarod continued broadcasting messages against the Hamas leadership. “Tamarod” (“Rebel”) is the name of the popular anti-Islamist youth movement which led popular protests against Mohammed Morsi in the run up to his removal by the military; its Gaza branch has focused on ousting the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Hamas.
The group has released a statement accusing Hamas of murder, torture, bribes and smuggling. “Those who carry resistance fighters’ rifles must stop also pointing those rifles at their own people,” the group accused, according to the PA-based Maan news agency.