Egypt has deployed extra troops and armour to the Sinai peninsula to bolster its military presence in the area following last Sunday’s killing of 16 border guards.
Cairo has also ordered the closure of the 1,200 tunnels that line the country’s border with the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday militants launched further attacks on checkpoints in al-Arish leaving a number of people injured.
Egypt responded by sending helicopter gunships into action against suspected Islamist strongholds. As the tunnels close the price of food, construction materials and medicine has rocketed on the Gaza Strip.
One Gaza resident believes the security operation will pile more hardship on the Palestinians: “I believe this will suffocate the Palestinian people – they’re really pressuring us. So we hope to see the Egyptian government, the government of the revolution, to show mercy on the people, who had nothing to do with what happened.” he said.
The security situation in Sinai has deteriorated since a popular uprising brought about the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak last year. Militants in the peninsula are said to have tried to taken advantage of the upheaval.