Egypt Blows Up Gaza Tunnel

Egyptian forces on Sunday (October 13) blew up a house suspected of hiding a tunnel near the Gaza border, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said. Egyptian troops were seen deployed in the area, before an explosion on the Egyptian side of Rafah. Egypt, which accuses Hamas of aiding Islamist militants in its lawless Sinai desert, has been waging a campaign to destroy the tunnels, which are used for smuggling weapons as well, but have also been a lifeline for goods into the blockaded Gaza Strip. As a result of Egypt's crackdown, Hamas, which rules Gaza, has lost tax income from the tunnels and has been struggling to meet its payroll. Thousands of Gaza's civil servants may not receive their full salaries in time for an important Muslim holiday next week. Hamas, which denies the Egyptian allegations that it is helping Islamist militant groups in Sinai, taxes the traffic through the tunnels - a money stream that has now virtually run dry.

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