The Egyptian government is building a dock at the Rafah border in an attempt to tighten up and make the blockade on Gaza stricter.
“The new anchorage will enhance the work of the Egyptian patrol boats on the sea border with Gaza and prevent any attempts of smuggling by sea,” a security source in North Sinai told Reuters on Thursday.
“It is to secure the area. It will be used to direct fishing boats in the area to ensure they do not cross the Israeli sea border and risk getting fired at,” he added.
According to Egyptian security sources, the anchorage will be 10 meters deep and 25 meters long.
The Egyptian building work was condemned by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri who called it a “clear plan to cement the blockade and the siege on Gaza.”
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege ever since the Hamas resistance movement won parliamentary elections in 2007.
To help Israel implement the siege, Cairo has also been building an underground wall along its border with the impoverished coastal sliver.
The wall destroys many tunnels along the border that have served as a crucial lifeline since Israel sealed off the strip from almost all vital supplies. The wall will be 9 to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) long, and will go as deep as 20 to 30 meters into the ground.
Palestinians say they use the tunnels to transport basic necessities including food and medicine to the besieged Gaza Strip.