Maan News Agency
Egyptian security constructing guard towers on Gaza border
Al-Arish – Ma'an – Egyptian security sources announced the start of construction of steel-plated guard towers along the 13.5-kilometer Gaza border on Wednesday, confirming witnesses reports of new building in the area.
The towers will replace several wooden birds nest structures already in place along the border.
The security sources said the decision to replace the towers was made following the early January shooting death of a soldier along the border, allegedly by Hamas policemen, though the claim was denied by a de facto government internal investigation.
New towers will reportedly be seven meters tall and bulletproof, security officials said.
The security sources added that material for about 23 new control towers was delivered to workers at the border area, and officials planned to install 13 and possibly up to 16 towers along the length of the border; from international marker 1 to international marker 7, security personnel said.
The sources said the towers were part of an effort to stop smuggling.
International Middle East Media Center
Egypt Fortifies Gazan Border
Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
February 26, 2010
Egyptian Authorities have begun the installation of bulletproof watchtowers, replacing older wooden towers, along its border with the Gaza Strip.
The decision is attributed to the death of an Egyptian soldier stationed in an older wooden watchtower.
A total of 23 new towers have been prepared for installation; 13 – 16 will be installed along Gaza starting from international border marker #1, at the Mediterranean coast, until border marker #7, near the Kerem Shalom (Karem Abu Salem), 4.5 kilometers south of the Rafah Border Terminal.
Egyptian sources claim that security forces will use rubber-coated bullets to fire at protesters near the border in an attempt to limit the number of casualties and injuries.
A new plan to prevent smuggling is slated to be implemented later this year. Egyptian authorities will encircle the Egyptian side of Rafah City with barbed wire, effectively sealing it off from Gaza.
There are also Egyptian plans to install a gate on the outskirts of Rafah that can detect weapons or metal, further discouraging the entrance of supplies into Gaza.