Entrances to tunnels for smuggling weapons turn up in homes all over this border town.
During a tour Sunday, an Egyptian army officer lifted the floor tiles of a bedroom closet, just feet from a crib and bed, to reveal one such tunnel that extends hundreds of yards across the border into the Gaza Strip.
Egypt has been under stepped-up pressure from the United States and Israel to stop the flow of weapons into Gaza since the Palestinian militant group Hamas seized control of the coastal territory in June.
But Egypt says it needs help from the United States and Israel, including more equipment to track the many passageways dug under the border and money to deploy more guards.
"We can't stop all smuggling. We need more machines, we need double the number of border guards," army Col. Amr Mamdouh told reporters during the tour.
The 8-mile Gaza-Egypt border is the sole land connection between the territory and the outside world not controlled by Israel, making it crucial to the West's attempts to isolate Hamas. The militant group is pressuring Cairo to at least let money slip through to bolster its rule.
The United States is hoping to cut off Hamas as Washington tries to push forward the peace process between Israel and Hamas' rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose government controls the West Bank.
Egyptian authorities have discovered six tunnels in Rafah since Hamas took over Gaza, Mamdouh told reporters.