- Middle East/North Africa
The Cairo Administrative Court ruled Tuesday that smuggling tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip pose a threat to national security and should therefore be destroyed.
The court said the tunnels are not controlled by the state, which makes them illegal.
The Armed Forces said earlier this month that a crackdown on smuggling tunnels will continue due to security concerns.
Armed Forces spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali estimates that there are around 225 tunnels.
The tunnels are used to smuggle merchandise between the two territories due to an Israeli blockade implemented in 2007 when Hamas took power.
Israel has called on Egypt to destroy the tunnels, fearing that weapons were being smuggling to militant groups.
Hamas condemned the decision to flood smuggling tunnels linking Sinai and Gaza last week.
"The movement reviewed the issue of the destruction of tunnels with Egyptian officials and hopes that officials in Egypt understand the situation in Gaza and the need for these tunnels," Hamas leader Salah al-Bardaweel said in a statement.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm