Egypt To Open Border with Gaza Without Israeli Involvement
Move Likely to Mean Flow of Weaponry by Hamas, other Terrorist Groups
- Border to be opened “in a continuous way”
- Rafah Opening to enable build-up of terrorist “military machine”
- Announcement comes just after Hamas-Fatah deal reached
Washington, April 29 – Egypt plans to open its border with Gaza on a permanent basis, allowing in people and goods through Rafah without supervision by Israeli authorities, Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi said Friday. The decision could mean serious security problems for Israel because of the increased ease of transporting weapons into Gaza, which has been under the control of Iran-backed Hamas.
The announcement came two days after Hamas and Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party reached a tentative power-sharing agreement to be signed next week in Cairo. The deal was brokered by Egypt, and an Egyptian team is expected to travel to Gaza to help implement it.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Menha Barkhoum said details of the Rafah opening were still being hammered out but that “We’ll open the crossing point for individuals in a continuous way.”
The reason for opening the border, al-Arabi said, was to decrease suffering on the part of people living in Gaza, despite a statement just days ago by the deputy head of the Red Cross in Gaza that there is NO humanitarian crisis in the area.
Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, when it took control of the area in a bloody coup against Fatah. Hamas called for opening the Rafah border on Feb. 11, a day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak left office.
Egypt’s al-Arabi also said recently that Egypt wants to “open a new page” with Iran, renewing full diplomatic relations which ended with Iran’s 1979 revolution. In turn, Iran has said it wants “further expansion of relations” with Egypt, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.
A senior Israeli official expressed concern over Egypt’s decision to open Rafah and exclude Israel from monitoring the border. The Israeli official said Hamas already has used northern Sinai to build “a dangerous military machine.” A newly porous Rafah border would help Hamas bolster its anti-Israel weaponry. "What power could they amass if Egypt was no longer acting to prevent that build up?" the official said.
In the past, Egyptian security worked closely with Israel to control the border. Now, Hamas official Ghazi Hamad, reportedly said that Egypt “will allow up to 300 people from the Gaza Strip to exit each day."
Hamas’ charter calls for destroying Israel and killing all Jews. Article seven of the charter states, “Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! …there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!”
Since January, Hamas and other terrorist groups have fired 328 rockets, missiles and mortars at Israel. Earlier this month, Hamas targeted a children’s school bus, hitting the vehicle with an anti-tank missile and resulting in the death of a 16-year-old boy.
By Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Psalm 83 with Ezekiel 38, Isaiah 17 and Zephaniah 2
Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua