Thursday, January 24, 2008


35 Hurt in Gaza-Egypt Border Riot, Border Fence Down- Rushdi Abu Alouf and Richard Boudreaux
Masked gunmen used explosives to blow holes in Gaza's border fence early Wednesday, enabling thousands of Palestinians to pour into Egypt to buy food, fuel and other supplies. Egyptian and Palestinian border guards did not resist the mass crossing at the Rafah terminal.

Hundreds of Gaza women had crashed a gate at the same border Tuesday to protest Egypt's cooperation with Israeli sanctions. They were turned back during a riot that injured 35 people. During a protest organized by Hamas, the women chanted accusations calling Egyptian President Mubarak a coward for sticking to an agreement with the U.S. and Israel to keep the border closed and Gaza's Hamas-led government isolated. The crowd broke through a metal gate and hurled rocks at Egyptian police, who drove them back with clubs, tear gas and water cannon. Hamas border guards fired warning shots, prompting Egyptian police to start shooting too. (Los Angeles Times)

Hamas spent months cutting through the wall in a secret operation.  

In the long run, this may be the first step in separating Gaza from the West Bank and attaching it back to Egypt (to which it originally was attached).  This may be a rare situation in which Israel and Hamas want the same thing.  As you may recall, when Begin returned the Sinai to Egypt, he tried to give them Gaza too.  The Egyptians weren't interested.  Nor are they interested now.

Israel seems ready (and happy) to make this Egypt's problem, (see here too) even though the breach creates a security nightmare for Israel.

The world seemed to forget that Gaza has TWO security borders: one patrolled by Israel and the other by Egypt.  The world criticized Israel for blocking the border from terrorists who had sworn Israel's destruction.  Last I saw, Egypt wasn't at war with Hamas.  Let Egypt give Gaza "humanitarian aid."

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