Friday, January 25, 2008

Implications of the Breached Gaza-Egypt Border

Observations, from JCPA Daily Alert 24/1/2008:

Gaza Border Breach May Pressure Egypt to Act
Adam Entous Retired Brig.-Gen. Shalom Harari of Israel's Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya said Hamas may have achieved a "PR" victory in Gaza, but the situation would now put more pressure on Egypt to act - to Israel's benefit. "The situation may look worse on the surface, but Israel has not lost control on our border," he said. "For months and months, Israel has been telling the Egyptians, 'You guys have been playing with fire.' So I'm not so sure Israel is unhappy with what's going on right now," said David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute's Project on the Middle East Peace Process. (Reuters)

...Israel Wants to Sever Connections with Gaza
Israel would like to sever its remaining connections with Gaza. "We need to understand that when Gaza is open to the other side we lose responsibility for it. So we want to disconnect from it," Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai told Army Radio on Thursday. (Reuters)

...Will Responsibility for Gaza Shift to Egypt?
Benny Avni - Some Israeli officials saw an "opportunity" in the flow of hundreds of thousands of Gazans into Egypt, suggesting that responsibility for Gaza's humanitarian situation should be shifted to Egypt. "If Egypt and international welfare organizations are so concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, why don't they just reroute the deliveries? They can send food and necessities to Egypt, and then deliver them to Gaza through the Rafah crossing," an Israeli official said. (New York Sun)

...Proving the Egyptian Alternative
Yaakov Katz - Egypt helped Israel on Wednesday to complete its disengagement from Gaza. Egypt's decision to open the Rafah crossing to the Palestinians proved to the world that Egypt is perfectly capable of caring for the Palestinians when it comes to food and medical care. "By going into Egypt, Hamas loses its claim that it is under siege by Israel," said a senior Israeli defense official. Mubarak's decision to open a floodgate into his country for thousands of Palestinians demonstrated that there are alternatives to Israel when it comes to being Gaza's provider. (Jerusalem Post)

...Hamas' Strategy: Disconnect Gaza from Israel, Connect to the Arab World
Pinhas Inbari - Opening the border between Gaza and Egypt is part of Hamas' long-term strategy to disconnect Gaza from Israel and connect it to the Arab world. Hamas has been methodically attacking the border crossings connecting Gaza with Israel, thereby keeping them blocked and forcing all the pressure toward opening Gaza to Egypt and thus to the Arab world. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs-Hebrew)

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