|Goods smuggled through tunnels under the border with Egypt |
are a mainstay of Gaza's economy
Residents living along the border with the Palestinian territory were told to evacuate their homes so that they can be demolished, local media reports.
Water-filled trenches will also be used to prevent the construction of tunnels.
Egyptian media accuses Gaza's Hamas administration of aiding militants in the Sinai. Hamas denies the charge.
Last week, more than 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed in a militant bomb attack on an army post in Sinai.
After the bombing, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi passed a law authorising the military to protect state facilities - including power plants, main roads and bridges.
He also declared a three-month state of emergency in Sinai. Critics of the move said it allows the army to return to the streets and brings back military trials for civilians.
The planned buffer zone will reportedly stretch along the length of the 13km (8 mile) border.
Officials told the Associated Press news agency that the army had given residents 48 hours to leave their homes, but this ultimatum had been put on hold after protests.
Tunnels linking the Gaza Strip and Sinai have also played a vital role in the economy of the Palestinian territory, which has been struggling to cope with an economic blockade imposed by Israel in its confrontation with Hamas.
Clearly, this reporter is sympathetic to Gazans, and I can certainly understand that. But the reporter neglects to mention that the tunnels were also used to smuggle all sorts of weapons into Gaza for Hamas to use against Israel. Cutting off that supply should mean that it will be a long time before last summers war will be repeated with similar intensity.
Good for al-Sisi.
If Gaza wants their economic blockade lifted, all they have to do is to stop trying to kill Israelis.