Egypt Wednesday began construction of a concrete wall along border with Gaza to thwart illegal trafficking from inside the enclave controlled by the Hamas movement.
Egyptian cranes and workers launched the construction along the lines of an old, lower barrier that stretches three kilometers (two miles) from Gaza’s southeastern tip at Karem Shalom to the Rafah crossing with Egypt.
The structure, according to Hamas, “is to control the border and prevent any illegal activity there,” including any cross-border trafficking.”
Egypt, through the Rafah crossing, is the only window for Palestinians in Gaza on the world. Cairo began recently opening the crossing point after it closed it to combat smuggling activities taking place in tunnels built beneath border which stretches approximately 12 kilometers.
The construction of the wall comes amid improving relations between Qatar-sponsored Hamas and Cairo.
Egypt has been over long period mediator between enclave ruler and Israel for peace. Both sides have fought three wars since 2008, two years after the Islamist movement won Palestinian elections.