Friday, May 27, 2011

Is Egypt Double Crossing The Palestinians?

There is a new gang running Egypt and they have decided to open the Egypt/Gaza crossing to normal traffic.

Egypt will permanently open its Rafah border crossing with Gaza by the weekend.

The Egyptian border with Gaza will be opened daily beginning on May 28, the Egyptian state MENA news agency reported.

The decision is “part of Egyptian efforts to end divisions among Palestinians and to finalize their reconciliation.” Egypt brokered the recent reconciliation between the Fatah party, led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Islamist Hamas organization.

The opening takes the steam out of Israel’s land and sea blockade of Gaza, which began after Hamas took over power in Gaza in 2007. The Egyptian border closed at the same time.

It is not clear if only people, or also goods, will be allowed to cross the Rafah border. Israel limits the kind of goods that enter Gaza in order to prevent weapons-making material from falling into the hands of Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
Yes it is dangerous. But more for the Palestinians than the Israelis. First off the tunnel builders and the smugglers that use them will be out of business. That will cause hardship for some. But that is not the worst that could happen.

Let us suppose Hamas, which controls Gaza, arms to the teeth and then starts a war with the Israelis. What might the Israelis do in retaliation? The Gaza Strip is 3 1/2 to 7 1/2 miles wide and 25 miles long. The Israelis could start walking an artillery barrage from the north end of Gaza and working its way south. At 50 ft a minute they could cover a mile in about two hours. Which would give the residents barely enough time to evacuate. In a day they could clear about 1/2 the Strip. With the Egyptian border open the refugees from the barrage would have no trouble heading for Egypt. Three days of such a barrage would make Hamas and the citizens of Gaza Egypt's problem.

Would the Israelis do such a thing? Doubtful. But it is unwise to wage a war by calculating an enemy's intentions. It is wiser to calculate based on capabilities. Is Hamas wise? Surely you are joking.


LarryD said...

The Gaza Strip and the West Bank were officially given up by Egypt and Jordan, to give Israel a long term problem. It worked. Israel did not annex those territories because it did not consider them necessary for its security, and hoped to use them as bargaining chips.

I think it's now obvious that Israel made an error, and the next time the Palestinians make war on them, the territory they're using as a base should just be annexed, and their enemies expelled, international opinion be damned.

M. Simon said...

That is what I see happening. Slow or fast is the only question.