Egyptian president: Gaza buffer zone not enough
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi tells a conference of Egyptian youth that despite the army's efforts, tunnels and terrorism from Gaza in the Sinai present an ongoing problem; 'We found tunnels that are three kilometers long and 35 meters deep. These are tunnels that can transport vehicles and not just people.'
"We found tunnels that are three kilometers long and 35 meters deep. These are tunnels that can transport vehicles and not just people," al-Sisi said at a youth conference in Ismailia.
The Egyptian president arrived at the conference for the third time in his attempt to talk to the younger generation and shed light on Egypt's struggle against smuggling tunnels from Gaza to Sinai.
Al-Sisi also pointed out that despite the Egyptian army's efforts, the problem is still ongoing and authorities "require more cooperation" from residents.
The Egyptian president further promised to pay compensation to Egyptian Rafah residents who were evacuated as a result construction on the security buffer zone, which resulted in many losing their homes.
Another interesting issue to which al-Sisi was asked during the conference was his candidacy for the Egyptian presidential elections scheduled for 2018.
In recent months, there have been reports of initiatives to extend his term without elections, but the president attempted to squash rumors, saying, "I call upon the citizens of Egypt to participate en masse in the next presidential elections. If Egyptians don't want me, I will not remain in office for one second. In this situation, may God give Egyptians the best and most appropriate (leader)."