Hamas temporarily shuts smuggling tunnels
Gaza Strip ? Hamas temporarily closed Gaza’s smuggling tunnels in response to an Israeli warning of a plot to kidnap Israelis vacationing in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and drag them into Gaza through the underground passageways, officials said Wednesday.
The unprecedented step briefly cut off a key economic lifeline to the blockaded Palestinian territory, ruled by the Islamic militant Hamas since its violent takeover in 2007.
A senior Hamas government official said the cross-border tunnels were closed at the request of Egypt, which relayed the Israeli concerns. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss contacts with Egypt.