Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi claimed that the flooding of the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt is being carried out in coordination with the Palestinian Authority.
In a presidential statement released yesterday, Al-Sisi said the measures taken by Egypt aim to secure its eastern border and will not harm Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
“These measures aim to protect the Egyptian border and preserve Palestinian and Egyptian national security,” he said.
The Egyptian president reportedly made the comments during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the side lines of a summit for development and climate change at the United Nations in New York.
He stressed on the need for the Palestinian Authority to return to the Gaza Strip and to supervise the border crossings, saying this will have a significant impact on it being open.
On 11 September, the Egyptian army began to pump water from the Mediterranean Sea into underground tunnels on the southern borders of the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to the statement, Abbas praised what has been described as the “sincere” Egyptian efforts to reach a peaceful settlement for the Palestinian cause and to safeguard Palestinian rights.
He went on to hail the “historical role” in this regard, the statement added.
During an interview with the Egyptian Al-Balad TV channel last year, Abbas said he has always demanded the tunnels be destroyed either by flooding them or by building an iron fence along the border.