- Title: EGYPT: Egypt creates Gaza security buffer
- Date: 29th October 2014
- Summary: RAFAH (FILMED FROM RAFAH, GAZA) (OCTOBER 29, 2014) (REUTERS) EXPLOSIONS ON THE BORDER BETWEEN GAZA AND EGYPT VARIOUS OF WHITE SMOKE BILLOWING AFTER BOMBS VARIOUS OF DAMAGE EGYPTIAN ARMY JEEPS AT BORDER EGYPTIAN ARMY TANKS AT BORDER BULLDOZER WORKING IN AREA RAFAH, GAZA (OCTOBER 29, 2014) (REUTERS) PALESTINIANS LOOKING AT EXPLOSIONS ON BORDER RAFAH (FILMED FROM RAFAH, GAZA) (OCTOBER 29, 2014) (REUTERS) EGYPTIAN ARMY BASE RAFAH, GAZA (OCTOBER 29, 2014) (REUTERS) RESIDENT OF RAFAH, JAMAL SALAH (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF RAFAH, JAMAL SALAH, SAYING: "We hear explosions everyday near the border. They fire the residents who live on that side, they are trying to make it an isolated area. The explode buildings, they do not let anyone there. They explode the area and force the people from their homes." RESIDENT OF GAZA, ABDEL KAREEM ABU OUF, WALKING TOWARD CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF GAZA, ABDEL KAREEM ABU OUF, SAYING: "Buffer zone is just a plot against the Palestinian people. We are brothers with the Egyptians and we do not interfere with their border." RAFAH (FILMED FROM RAFAH, GAZA) (OCTOBER 29, 2014) (REUTERS) WALL BETWEEN GAZA AND RAFAH VARIOUS OF EGYPTIAN TANKS VARIOUS OF EGYPTIAN HELICOPTERS OVER BORDER
- Embargoed: 13th November 2014 12:00
- Location: Gaza
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAAMYYV28UECCE5CAC3PV6B9VT7
- Story Text: Egypt began clearing residents from its border with the Gaza Strip on Wednesday (October 29) to create a buffer zone following some of the worst anti-state violence since President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown last year.
A day after being ordered by the army to move, many in the area had already packed their belongings and begun to leave when an announcement from Cairo made the eviction official.
General Abdel Fattah Harhour, governor of the increasingly lawless northern Sinai region, told journalists the departing residents would be compensated for their lost homes.
Egypt declared a state of emergency in the border area after at least 33 security personnel were killed on Friday in two attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, a remote but strategic region bordering Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal.
It also accelerated plans to create a 500-metre deep buffer zone by clearing houses and trees and destroying tunnels it says are used to smuggle arms from Gaza to militants in Sinai.
One resident said people in the area had been given three options: money to compensate for their property, an apartment in a nearby village or a plot of land on which to build.
Each displaced family is due to receive 900 Egyptian pounds($125) to help pay for three months rent elsewhere, Harhour said, while compensation for lost property is being calculated.
Palestinian residents of Rafah in Gaza, said that they are hearing lots of explosions and bombs on border.
"We hear everyday explosions near the border. They evict the residents who live on that side, they are trying to make it an isolated area. The explode buildings, they do not let anyone there. They explode the area and evict the people from their homes," Jamal Salah said,
Another resident Abdel Kareem Abu Ouf, said that Egyptians and Palestinians always had good relations.
"A buffer zone is just a plot against the Palestinian people. We are brothers with the Egyptians and we do not interfere in their border," he said.
Border residents say about 680 houses are set to be demolished. Security forces have previously destroyed about 200 houses on the border after discovering entrances inside to smuggling tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip .
Security sources said residents living within 300 metres (yards )of the border were being evicted in the first phase of the plan. The next phase will cover another 200 metre-deep strip.
Residents of Sinai, which has long been neglected by the state, say they rely on the tunnels for their livelihoods. But Egyptian security forces see them as a security threat and regularly destroy them.
As well as clearing a border strip, Egypt has expanded the jurisdiction of military courts to try civilians who block roads or damage state facilities and has authorised the army to help guard roads, bridges, oil fields and other public installations.
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