More than 80 out of 802 houses across the borders were found to contain tunnels used for smuggling weapons and transporting “terrorists” in and out of Sinai, according to a Tuesday statement by Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ministry claimed that Egypt is taking “temporary security measures” in order to combat terrorism in North Sinai following militant attacks on 24 October that left at least 30 security personnel dead.
The government subsequently announced a number of security measures in North Sinai to combat militancy, including the relocation of residents living along the Rafah border, enhanced military protection of vital facilities, and a three-month state of emergency and a curfew in some areas.
The statement claimed that the residents will be relocated within the same governorate and families will be given down payment for temporary lodging and will be given the full amount of compensation when the value of their properties is appraised.
A decree states that the attacks on vital and public facilities are now “legally equated to attacks on military sites” enabling the armed forces to secure them according to law no.36 2014, which will only be applicable for two years.
However, peaceful protestors will not be submitted to military trial as long as they don’t attack vital and public facilities, and the military judicial system was amended to include an appeals court to ensure the rights of the defendants, the statement read.