Terror in Sinai

Hamas to Egypt: Reopen Gaza Crossing, and We Will Shut Down Smuggling Tunnels

PA secretary says that the tunnels harm Egypt's security and called on them to be demolished; Hamas says such declarations are meant to harm the Islamist group.

Hamas announced Sunday that it would be willing to close all tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip on condition that the Rafah crossing would remain permanently open for crossing of people and commodities.

Speaking at a press conference, Salah al Bradawi, one of Hamas leaders in Gaza, said that the perpetrators of last week's terror attack did not originate from the Gaza Strip and that the attack had no connection whatsoever to Hamas.

Meanwhile, a representative of the Palestinian Authority fiercely condemned the existence of the tunnels. PA secretary, Tayb Abd A-Rahim said Sunday that the tunnels harm Egypt's security and called on them to be demolished.

"The tunnels have no influence on the economic situation of the Gaza Strip," he said adding that they should be closed since they "harm the [Palestinian] interests and relations between Palestinians and Egyptians." Hamas responded by saying that such irresponsible declarations are meant to harm Hamas. Egypt has yet to respond to Hamas' statement.

The tunnels were partially active on Sunday, specifically those used for smuggling food. On the Egyptian side, security forces continued to demolish tunnels using various engineering equipment.

Palestinians walking toward the Egyptian border crossing with Gaza in Rafah, Egypt