A interior ministry official admitted there was a security failure in Rafah, North Sinai, in a Shura Council meeting Wednesday.
Major General Abdel Raouf al-Seirafy, deputy of the public administration of criminal investigations at the public security sector, said the security situation in Rafah is not under control, and that tribesmen in Rafah are in charge of protecting police.
During a meeting of the Shura Council’s national security and defense committee on Wednesday, Seirafy said that security operations around smuggling tunnels were not ongoing, and consequently, there was no security services to confront the illegal movement of goods into and from the Gaza Street.
Seirafy added that security forces are located in Sheikh Zuwayed, the nearest town to Rafah, whose police station will return back to work by end of the year.
A number of Rafah residents, who took part in the meeting, expressed their need for security and called for incorporating Sinai residents into the security apparatus. Twenty-five Sinai residents applied to Police Academy, but only two were accepted.
Freedom and Justice Party member Essam al-Erian said Rafah requires development and sources for income.
Muslim Ayyad, a Shura Council member, said resolving the problems in Sinai requires political will, not just the return of police station, to restore security to Rafah.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm