3 questions to Ahmed Bahnassy, a researcher at the Center for Studies of the Middle East News Agency (MENA)
Is that the tunnel trade will last long?
The Israeli attack against the Flotilla, on May 2010, had a direct impact on the tunnel trade. Israel was forced to ease its blockade on Gaza, including the entance of food and construction. It is those products that pass through more tunnels. That is to say that when Israel tightened the blockade, the tunnels are very active and vice versa.
The Israelis accuse Egypt of not doing anything AGAINST ... Is it true that the Egyptian intelligence direct tunnels?
Say that the Egyptian government knows all about the tunnels and does nothing, is israeli allegations. Why then Egypt built the wall on the borders? A month ago, Israeli television aired a documentary on Gaza tunnels with a list of names of Palestinians responsible for the tunnels, then why did they not act? They conducted the recent war against the Gaza Strip in late 2009 under the pretext of eradicating tunnels. But oddly, the Israelis are not returned in the so-called zone of the tunnels.
Regarding the Egyptian intelligence, I do not think they run in tunnels, maybe they turn their backs to some tunnels to alleviate the situation in the Gaza Strip. I mean they let the food requirements necessary for Gazans to maintain the security of Egypt. I remind you of what happened in January 2008 when the Palestinians of Gaza have crossed the Egyptian border to access their needs.
Many Bedouin complain of violence with which police deal with the Egyptian?
I do not want to call this violence is happening between the police and the Egyptian Bedouins in Sinai. They live on Egyptian territory controlled by the Egyptian government and where egyptian laws are enforced. The government takes the necessary steps to achieve its security interests. The Bedouins are also involved in drug trafficking and weapons. But I must confess that there are abuses by the police due under the bedouin as traitor and the lack of human development in Sinai. Such abuse is very dangerous to national security of Egypt. The Sinai is an area exempt from weapons and Bedouins have their weapons, then they can be the first line of defense of Egypt when an Israeli attack as they might be the primary source of danger in the way that treats.
This article was written for the french magazine "Courrier de l'Atlas"