Egypt Builds Steel Barrier to Stop Gaza Smugglers
Wall along border will extend 100 feet down to block tunnels
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2009 7:48 AM CST
A Palestinian smuggler works in a tunnel in the Rafah refugee camp, in the southern Gaza Strip, on the border with Egypt, Friday, Jan. 23, 2009.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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(Newser) – Egypt has begun work on a gigantic steel wall that will run along and under its border with the Gaza Strip in an effort to curb smuggling. The 6-mile wall will extend up to 100 feet underground, in an effort to close off the tunnels smugglers often use to avoid checkpoints. Authorities say the wall will be impossible to cut or melt.

The tunnels have undermined Israel’s efforts to cut off supplies to the Strip. It’s such a well-established network that the tunnel operators have connected water and electricity lines through them. Hamas taxes all goods that move through the tunnels, and ensures that no children work in them.