Egypt to Expand Gaza Border Buffer Zone to Up to 2 Km. – Avi Issacharoff
(dailyalert.org, Jan. 6, 2015)
Egypt has begun the second stage of creating a buffer zone between Sinai and Gaza. The current zone is being expanded from 500 meters to a kilometer. However, there will be additional stages which will ultimately expand the zone to 1.5-2 km. The plan will result in the eviction of hundreds of families, initially to El-Arish and in the future to a new Rafah and a new suburb of Ismailiya on the banks of the Suez Canal.
These buffer zones are meant to help the Egyptian military in its fight against the fundamentalist Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, which has recently joined the Islamic State. 16-17 Egyptian battalions are operating in Sinai, including commando, armored, and infantry units. Egypt estimates that its operations have forced dozens of jihadis to flee Sinai for Libya. (Times of Israel)
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