Thursday, January 24, 2008

Egypt Cedes Part Of Sinai To Hamas

Egypt's leader President Hosni Mubarak has announced that Egypt is not planning to expel the hundreds of thousands of Gazan Palestinians who continue to travel freely over the broken border fence into the northern Sinai. Mubarak instead decided to merely contain them, pulling his forces from the Gaza border to points south of El Arish, Bir Lahfan and Abu Aweigila. By doing so,he ceded to Hamas control an area about twice the size of the Gaza strip.

Early this morning,January 24,the Americans likewise withdrew troops and equipment from Rafah and from the Multi-force Organization base at Al Gura northeast of El Arish, which monitors the demilitarization of Sinai, a key part of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty. Evacuating the entire base and the rest of its 400 multinational personnel is probably the next step...which makes both the Egypt-Israel peace treaty and the security accords under which Israel withdrew from Gaza essentially meaningless.

Meanwhile, Hamas is moving troops into the new area. They now have a new base where they can train and import weapons with impunity - and since it's still technically `Egypt' it's outside the reach of the Israeli military. It also makes the Israeli blockade on the terrorist enclave futile, for the most part.

The demolition of the border wall was probably timed to coincide with the conference yesterday, January 23 of the Palestinian National Congress in Damascus, a get together organized by Iran, Syria and the more radical Palestinian factions like Hamas, The Popular Front For The Liberation Of Palestine(PFLP) and Islamic Jihad as a response to the Annapolis conference.

It remains to be seen exactly how Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak and Israel, not to mention the US plan to deal with this major setback.

1 comment:

louielouie said...

if israel had a prime minister, he'd squeeze gaza like a tube of toothpaste and say, boys welcome to your new homeland, we'll be setting up that fence now that everyone is home.
and if anyone thinks about launching any missiles from a firmly established pre-existing international border, into what is now israel, we, the IDF will turn your hamlet into an abattoir.
that is, if israel had a prime minister, and a knesset.