Egypt building wall along Gaza border: security source

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A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip at the border with Egypt shows the construction site of a wall on the Egyptian side of the border on Feb. 19, 2020. (AFP)
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A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip at the border with Egypt shows a crane at the construction site of a wall on the Egyptian side of the border on Feb. 19, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 19 February 2020

Egypt building wall along Gaza border: security source

  • Dozens of workers aided by cranes could be seen erecting the structure
  • It wil will stretch from Gaza's southeastern tip to the Rafah crossing with Egypt

GAZA CITY: Egypt has begun building a concrete wall along its border with Gaza, said AFP journalists and a Palestinian security official from Hamas, which controls the enclave, on Wednesday.
Dozens of workers aided by cranes could be seen erecting the structure, which will stretch from Gaza’s southeastern tip to the Rafah crossing with Egypt, the only gateway out of Gaza that does not lead into Israel.
The wall is being built along the lines of an old, lower barrier that includes an underground structure designed to curb smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.
Contacted by AFP, Egypt’s military declined to comment on the new structure.
A Hamas security source told AFP that the goal was “to complete (the wall) as quickly as possible.”




A picture taken in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip at the border with Egypt shows a crane at the construction site of a wall on the Egyptian side of the border on Feb. 19, 2020. (AFP)

“The important thing for us is to control the border and prevent any illegal activity there,” including any cross-border trafficking, the a said.
A security delegation from Egypt led by General Ahmed Abdel Khalek, who heads Palestinian affairs at Egypt’s intelligence agency, was in Gaza last week seeking to restore calm between Hamas and Israel.
Hamas and the Jewish state have fought three wars since 2008.
Egypt, long a mediator between the two sides, and key Gaza donor Qatar strongly pushed for de-escalation last year.
A truce was quietly agreed but it was not endorsed by Islamic Jihad, another major armed group in Gaza that Israel says is backed by Iran.
Israel’s military said Wednesday that it had “identified a sniper squad of the Islamic Jihad terror organization” firing on troops from Khan Yunis in Gaza.
It said no troops were injured but Israeli forces returned fire and “a hit was identified.”
Officials in Gaza said an Islamic Jihad fighter was slightly injured.


Coronavirus infections rise above 250,000 in Iran

Updated 19 min 1 sec ago

Coronavirus infections rise above 250,000 in Iran

  • Iran has suffered a new spike in the number of daily infections and deaths in recent weeks
  • Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services, Rouhani said

DUBAI: Iran’s total number of coronavirus cases has reached 250,458 and a record 221 people died of the disease over the past 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 12,305, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the pandemic, has suffered a new spike in the number of daily infections and deaths in recent weeks as lockdown measures have been relaxed to help the economy revive.
President Hassan Rouhani launched new measures on Saturday to try to curb the renewed spread. He said Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols — including social distancing — will be shut for a week.
Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the highest authority in the Islamic Republic, have been shown wearing masks on state media websites in recent days.