Egyptian authorities are determined to establish a buffer zone along their border with Gaza, following an attack that killed 30 soldiers on Saturday, Ma’an reported.
Egyptian military sources told Ma’an that all houses and farmland 1, 500 feet deep along the 8 mile border will be evacuated, with the exception of the towns of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweid.
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A 60-foot wide and deep channel will also be constructed along the Gaza border, according to the same sources.
The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
Evacuated home owners will receive compensation. According to Ma’an, as many as 200 families have already accepted a financial package and are leaving.
Ma’an says there are 680 additional families living along the border.
The Egyptian decision came after a suicide car bombing that killed 30 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai last Saturday, the deadliest attack on the military since the presidential coup of 2013.
Egyptiam President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the suicide bomber received “external support.”
As often happens in these cases, Egypt closed the Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip, effectively disconnecting Gaza’s residents from the outside world.