Three Hamas terrorists were killed on Thursday when the Egyptian military pumped toxic gas into a tunnel dug under the Philadelphi Corridor along the Egypt-Gaza border. Hamas, the elected government in Gaza, diverts huge amounts of resources into its tunnels, frequently diverting humanitarian aid into its terrorist infrastructure. Tunnels into Israel are intended to infiltrate terrorists whereas tunnels into Egypt bypass the Rafah Border Crossing and are used to smuggle weapons into Gaza.
In 2009, Egypt began the construction of an underground steel barrier along the 7.5 mile border with Gaza to block existing tunnels and make new ones harder to dig. In 2011, Egypt relaxed restrictions at its border with the Gaza Strip, allowing Palestinians to cross freely. In 2013–2014, Egypt’s military destroyed most of the 1,200 smuggling tunnels. Construction started in February 2020 on a new concrete wall equipped with electronic sensors that runs 2 miles along the Gaza-Egypt border.
Child labor is employed in the smuggling tunnels with the justification that children are more “nimble.” Despite calls from human rights groups for the Gaza government to stop the practice, Hamas officials reported that at least 160 children have been killed in the tunnels.
In 2010, the Egyptian Mubarak regime sprayed toxic gas into the tunnels, killing 4 Gazans. In 2013, the Egyptian military started flooding the tunnels with sewage.
As of August 2014, the Egyptian Military destroyed 1659 smugglings tunnels. In 215, the Egyptian army began to pump water from the Mediterranean Sea into the tunnels. In February 2016, it was reported that the flooding was creating an environmental disaster.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed with the destruction of smuggling tunnels, arguing that they had produced 1,800 millionaires, and were used for smuggling weapons, drugs, cash and equipment for forging documents. Abbas had previously recommended the sealing or destruction of the tunnels by flooding them and then punishing the owners of the homes that contained entrances to the tunnels, including demolishing their homes