„Egypt discovered and destroyed 12 smuggling tunnels linking the Gaza Strip to the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian army said Monday. Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifae said that the tunnels, in the north of the Sinai, had been destroyed, though he did not specify when the demolitions were carried out.
Earlier Monday, Hamas published a report in which it said that it had lost 21 members of its armed forces while digging tunnels under the Gaza Strip in 2016, some of them to Egypt and some into Israel. Last month, four men, aged 22 to 45, were killed when the Egyptian army flooded a tunnel with seawater. The men were found dead 9 days after the tunnel they had been working in was flooded by the Egyptian army, according to a statement by local authorities in the Gazan city of Rafah near Egypt’s border.
Gazans use such tunnels to smuggle goods and weapons into the Palestinian enclave that has been under Israeli and Egyptian blockade for a decade, following Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip and its use of the area as a launchpad for attacks on Israel. It is also a conduit for Islamic terrorists who are operating in the Sinai, against Egyptian forces.“ (Bericht in der Times of Israel: „Egypt destroys 12 Gaza smuggling tunnels“)