Sinai’s Tarabin tribe urges action to curb smuggling

Tarabin tribe leaders on Wednesday held a conference to urge greater control over smuggling taking place in central Sinai, the tribe's ancestral home.

Following the conference held at Wadi al-Omar village, tribal spokesperson Moussa al-Delh told journalists smuggling of illicit goods is incompatible with Sinai cultural traditions.

Conference attendees agreed on the importance of tackling the problem of African migrant trafficking into Israel, said al-Delh, adding that all tribes should pledge to help curb the recent phenomenon by signing an agreement during a conference scheduled for 15 January.

Bedouins smuggle weapons, drugs and other supplies into Gaza typically through illegal tunnels, Egyptian authorities said.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) earlier this month called on Egypt to forcibly release 250 African illegal immigrants claimed to be detained by Bedouin smugglers near Egyptian-Israeli borders.

Bedouins accuse police of threatening them with confiscating vehicle licenses and carrying out raids on their homes and properties.

Tensions sharply escalated in North Sinai Governorate during the middle of 2009 after authorities launched an arrest campaign against a significant number of Bedouins accused of engagement in illegal activities. 

Clashes ensued and the Bedouins threatened to attack Sinai’s vital resources, including a natural gas pipeline that extends to Jordan and Israel through Sinai.

Related Articles

Back to top button