Monday, January 11, 2010

Hamas fears siege

From Ynet News, 11/1/10, by Ali Waked:

Egypt continues to push forward with underground barrier along Gaza border, aimed at shutting down smuggling tunnels. ...Hamas fears that via this channel, Egypt is joining the Palestinian Authority and Israel in creating a three-way siege on the Strip that would severely hurt the movement.

...Sources in the Strip told Ynet they fear the fence may be just one part of the puzzle, which includes the renewal of the diplomatic process between Israel and the PA, as well as Israeli threats of military action in the Strip. ...Hamas believes the IDF is preparing the ground for military activity. order to topple Hamas, joint Palestinian-Israel-Egyptian activity is required. For the first time, such cooperation seems to be underway. Israel and Egypt are pushing via the blockade, and the Palestinian Authority may be part of a political process through which the international community may turn a blind eye to Israel's forceful defeat of Hamas, in order to restore PA leadership in the Strip.

...Egypt continues to boost activity in Egyptian Rafah in hopes of limiting the smugglers' step before they even make it to the Gaza border. The Egyptian military demonstrates much presence in the area, in hopes of keeping elements that may harm efforts to deal with the smuggling away.

...Prices in Gaza continue to rise by the day following steps taken against the smugglers and tunnel operators, as well as IDF threats to strike the tunnels. "We are in a period similar to that before war, we are gathering and storing, and at much higher prices," Palestinians in the Strip told Ynet.

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