CAIRO — Egyptian security officials and residents say the military has demolished 13 homes along the Gaza Strip border for the possible creation of a buffer zone they hope will reduce weapons smuggling and illegal crossings by militants.
Northern Sinai government officials said Sunday the military envisions creating a house-free zone with no trees 1,640 feet wide and 6 miles long starting at the Rafah border crossing. The officials said the homes with tunnels underneath them were bulldozed over the last 10 days as a test of the idea.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The Egyptian military has closed much of the once-bustling tunnel system, but some remain at the 9-mile stretch of border.