Amnesty Breaks the Silence on Egypt's Gaza Expulsion

Amnesty International condemns Egypt's demolition of homes in Gaza as part of the establishment of a buffer zone.

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Elad Benari,

Gaza homes in Rafah blown up
Gaza homes in Rafah blown up
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The world has been silent thus far in the face of Egypt’s expulsion of residents in Gaza's south and the demolition of their homes by dynamite and bulldozers.

The silence was broken on Thursday, however, as Amnesty International condemned Egypt's demolition of hundreds of homes and called for a halt to its "unlawful evictions" of residents, according to AFP.

"Egyptian authorities must halt the arbitrary demolition of hundreds of homes and mass forced evictions underway in Rafah, North Sinai in order to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip," said Amnesty.

They "have proceeded with the evictions completely ignoring key safeguards required under international law including consultation with residents, adequate prior notice, sufficient compensation for losses and granting alternative housing to those who cannot provide for themselves, rendering the evictions unlawful."

The Egyptian expulsion to create a buffer zone follows lethal terrorist attacks on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai last month, and the ensuing crackdown on smuggling tunnels from Gaza, by which Hamas reportedly armed the attackers, has already seen hundreds of homes destroyed.

Egypt initially said it would wipe out all homes to a depth of 500 meters(over 1,640 feet) all along the 13 kilometer (over eight mile) border. Later it doubled that depth to 1 kilometer (0.62 miles).