Gaza Confirms Egypt’s Smuggling Smackdown

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Gaza tunnelers to Reuters: Nearly 60 percent of the smuggling tunnels are closed down, while prices are going up. The blame game’s the biggest surprise:

Tunnel owner Abu Jamal said the Hamas government’s taxation of cement and the new price controls had made the smuggling of construction material through surviving routes unviable.

“The Egyptian campaign damaged our business gravely and conditions by Hamas here are forcing us to stop the work. Business is in sleep mode,” he added.

More at YNet, which elaborates on the Muslim Brotherhood’s calculations.

2. Syrian jihadi rebels kidnapped a convoy of 21 Filipino UN observers near the border with Israel. The Lede impressively pieced together a lot of links, videos and tweets to create a fuller picture of the situation. Filipino media reports expected the observers to be released today. As as this roundup went to press, the Washington Post published this surprising development: