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Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:24PM
A Palestinian man transports bags of cement through tunnels used to transfer food, fuel, and building materials, along the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on August 23, 2012.

A Palestinian man transports bags of cement through tunnels used to transfer food, fuel, and building materials, along the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on August 23, 2012.

Egyptian army forces have flooded several underground supply tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip which bring basic needs to the Gazans in the besieged enclave. About one-third of the goods and food needed by the people living in Gaza is transferred to the enclave via the tunnels, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Egypt says Palestinians smuggled banned stuff through the tunnels. Palestinians depend on the tunnels to bring in foods, medicines, and other vital supplies and the incident has caused uproar in the territory that has been under an Israeli siege since 2006. The siege of Gaza has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty. The Israeli regime denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights, such as freedom of movement and adequate healthcare and education. According to Egyptian police and security sources, flooding of the tunnels took place only five days prior to the meeting of rival Palestinian groups in Egypt’s capital city, Cairo, over the establishment of a Palestinian unity government. In 2011, Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation accord to form a transitional unity government, which was supposed to pave the way for legislative elections before the end of May 2012. However, the process failed and is yet to be implemented. TNP/SS
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