World Bulletin/News Desk
North Sinai Governor Abdel-Fattah Harhour said Wednesday that his administration would offer immediate financial assistance to residents of the northern Sinai Peninsula recently evacuated from the border with the Gaza Strip.
Egypt decided earlier this week to evacuate all homes located within 500 meters of the Gaza border.
The decision came hard on the heels of an October 24 attack by as-yet-unidentified militants on an army checkpoint near the North Sinai city of Al-Arish, which left 31 Egyptian troops dead and 30 others injured.
Government officials say the home evacuations are intended to prevent the infiltration of "terrorists" into Egypt.
Harhour said around 680 homes were located in the border area within 500 meters of the Gaza Strip, including 200 homes that had already been razed.
The 200 homes that had been destroyed, he noted, had been used to disguise underground tunnels linking Sinai to Gaza.
The governor added that his administration would give 900 Egyptian pounds (roughly $126) each month for three months to every family evicted from the area.
These families, he explained, would also be entitled to financial compensation for the loss of their homes.
"Families whose homes had tunnels underneath them, however, will not receive compensation," Harhour clarified in press statements.
Many residents of the area welcomed the government's decision to evict them as they had wanted to relocate to more secure areas, the governor insisted, refusing to describe the area in question as a "buffer zone."Last Mod: 29 Ekim 2014, 23:10