Several days before the military coup in Egypt, the army started to demolish the tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip on the pretext of protecting national security. The tunnels are regarded as a lifeline for the besieged Palestinians in Gaza, who have been living under a strict Israeli-led blockade since 2006. All aspects of life have been affected by their closure.
Basic commodities in Gaza have started to disappear from the market, including oil, cement and steel. Prices have increased by two or three times, with the price of one ton of cement, for example, reaching £200, double what it was before. Such increases have led to a number of building projects being suspended, with the resultant unemployment hitting workers and their families very badly.
The Palestinian government in Gaza has called for its "Egyptian brothers" to resume commercial activities between Egypt and Gaza. "If the Rafah Crossing was opened fully," said a spokesman, "we ourselves would close the tunnels."
The government also called on the Egyptian media to stop the propaganda war against Gaza and affirmed that it is against any interference in Egypt's internal affairs.
Memo photographer: Mohammed Asad