CAIRO: Egyptian authorities discovered six additional tunnels linking Rafah and Gaza near the Salahuldin gate on the border between Sinai and the Gaza Strip Monday evening.
Security forces seized the goods discovered in the tunnels and no arrests were made. These tunnels permeate the Egypt-Gaza border and are used to smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip, under a blockade for over three years.
The number of tunnels has decreased somewhat since Egypt started building an underground barrier wall at the turn of 2010. Meanwhile, the Rafah border crossing continued to be open for Palestinians to cross from both sides.
Egypt ordered the opening of the Rafah border crossing in June after a deadly Israeli raid on an international aid flotilla that resulted in the killing of nine Turkish activists.
The crossing has remained open since then, the longest continuous time it has remained open since Hamas wrestled control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah in 2007 that led to a complete blockade of the Strip from both Israel and Egypt.
Prior to that, Egypt only opened the crossing intermittently which left Palestinians wanting to cross though stranded on both sides.
Around 65,000 Palestinians have used the crossing in both directions since the opening of the border, with some 475 tons of aid being delivered into Gaza, according to the Egyptian government.
Despite the opening of the crossing, relations between Egypt and Hamas remain tense. Egypt has accused Palestinian groups in Gaza of being responsible for rocket attacks launched on Jordan and Israel from Sinai earlier this month.
Hamas vehemently denied the accusation, countering that the Egyptian accusation was politically motivated and without grounds.