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September 14, 2005
More Great Moments In Palestinian Self-Government

In another splendid example of the status of the Palestinian society and their readiness to join the circle of nations, their security forces stood by and watched as the terrorist group Hamas blew a hole in the wall separating Egypt and Gaza in broad daylight. The attack allowed Palestinians to stream into the Sinai despite Egypt's denial of a breach at the border:

Hamas militants have destroyed a section of a concrete barrier erected along the Gaza-Egypt border.

Palestinian and Egyptian troops have been trying to shore up the barrier to stop Palestinians crossing into Egypt after the withdrawal of Israeli troops.

In chaotic scenes, thousands of Palestinians have streamed over the border in the last few days without undergoing official checks.

Despite this, Egypt says that its Gaza border is officially closed.

Militants from Hamas cleared an area before setting off explosives that blew away a section of the wall. Palestinian security officers present did nothing to prevent them.

A local Hamas commander warned them not to try to intervene, AFP news agency reported.

The pullout of Israel from Gaza has revealed the Palestinian Authority's security apparatus as an empty shell, a patronage service that lacks any courage or will to impose its authority. Terrorist groups like Hamas now operate at will even to the extent of committing an act of war on the Egyptians, although Egypt has chosen not to view it in that light. Hamas has free reign in Gaza and might well wind up stealing the territory from Mahmoud Abbas altogether, either through the electoral process or simply by outgunning and overwhelming the lackluster PA security forces present in the area.

Egypt had promised to maintain border security on their border with Gaza. Israel has had long experience with weapons smuggling along the border, one of the reasons that they built the wall Hamas just blew up. They have warned the Palestinians who crossed over through the hole that they have to return to Gaza within hours or face arrest. The problem might not come from a reluctance to return, but the materiel they bring back across the border with them when they do.

The Palestinians have not lived up to the expectations of the advocates of their appeasement. When given land, they have used it to pursue terrorism instead of statesmanship. Instead of promoting order and the rule of law, we have seen the rise of a new Mogadishu on the Mediterranean. When they blow holes in the border wall with Israel, will the world expect the Israelis to sit still while Palestinian terrorists flood into Israel to put those weapons to use?

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 14, 2005 11:11 PM

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Tracked on September 15, 2005 12:58 AM

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