Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hamas shuts tunnels? (updated)

UPDATE: Hamas is denying this story.

Ha'aretz is reporting:
Tunnel operators say Gaza's Hamas rulers have ordered residents to shut down smuggling tunnels along the Palestinian territory's border with Egypt indefinitely.

It was not immediately clear why Hamas would order the tunnels shut, cutting off the economic lifeline for the 1.5 million people in the crowded, impoverished Gaza Strip.

Tunnel operators in the Gaza border town of Rafah say Hamas issued the order late Wednesday.

Hamas officials were not immediately available for comment.
I have yet to see any verification from the Arab press, and I cannot figure out a way for this story to make sense, unless Hamas is trying to gain a monopoly on all tunnel smuggling and will increase taxes on smuggled goods.