The government has so far disbursed EGP 242m as compensation for the families that had to evacuate their homes to make way for the buffer zone along the Gaza border, North Sinai Governor General Abdel Fattah Harhour told Daily News Egypt.
The funds cover the first phase of the border area evacuation, which involved the demolition of 837 houses within the first 500 metres from the border. The second phase is set to begin on 4 January, and will cover an additional 500 metres.
According to Harhour, the government allocated EGP 500m as compensations for families in the first phase only. The government will disburse EGP 1,500 to each family; 500 each month for a period of three months, to those living on the borders, which is completely different from the compensations that will be provided to families for the value of their homes and lands.
The government was initially set to disburse a monthly EGP 300 for a period of three months; however the government decided to increase the amount to EGP 500 monthly.
Harhour further noted that people who had infiltrating tunnels inside their houses will not be compensated for their houses or lands.
The buffer zone is set to be 5km, so a third and a fourth phase of demolitions are expected to take place, said Harhour.
The Egyptian army has set out to create a ‘secure zone’ on the Rafah border following the 24 October attack that left at least 30 security personnel dead. The attack was later claimed by Sinai-based militant group ‘State of Sinai’, formerly known as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis.