Hamas has arrested owners of tunnels along the Egyptian border on suspicion of having allowed jihadists to cross into Egypt, jihadi sources in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem.
The detainees were the owners of privately owned tunnels that operate independently of the tunnel network that serves Hamas in their efforts to smuggle weapons into the Strip. The owners of the private tunnels collect customs and pay a fee to Hamas, the sources said.
Hamas’ special border force gathered the owners of the private tunnels and warned them that attempts to smuggle jihadists would result in arrests and fines and the seizure of their tunnels, the sources said.
Hamas’ unusual step came in the wake of a landmark visit to Egypt by a Hamas delegation last month.
As part of tighter cooperation with Egypt, Hamas has beefed up the deployment of troops along the border.
The Arab media reported this week that Israel recalled its ambassador to Egypt a few weeks ago, apparently for security reasons. However, several Arab and Palestinian outlets claimed that it was to protest Egypt’s rapprochement with Hamas.
Contacted by Breitbart Jerusalem, the spokesperson of the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv declined to comment on the issue.