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November 16, 2005
US Exports Its Southern Border Solution To Gaza

The Palestinians and the Israelis reached an agreement on the control of the Gaza border with Egypt yesterday, thanks to American pressure on both parties -- on Israelis to capitulate, and on Palestinians to not laugh with merriment over the final arrangements:

Israel and the Palestinians settled Tuesday on the final details of a border agreement for Gaza that gives the Palestinians almost unfettered control of their border with Egypt.

In the works for weeks, the U.S.-mediated agreement followed marathon negotiations Monday night that included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Rice delayed a planned trip to Asia to ensure the two sides signed the deal, U.S. Embassy spokesman Stewart Tuttle said. She had said she would not leave without an accord. ...

European Union representatives on the ground will monitor compliance, as will a joint Israeli-Palestinian-European control room, according to the agreement. Goods coming into Gaza from its revamped border terminal at Rafah will be monitored by sophisticated X-ray equipment.

In a critically important step for future Palestinian trade, the deal also allows the Palestinians to begin building a Gaza seaport.

So without forcing the Palestinians to even start disarming the terrorist squads in their midst that continue to attack Israel -- which was supposed to be a precondition for any further Israeli concessions -- Rice and the rest of the nations involved have forced the Israelis to give up a crucial security checkpoint that kept at least some of the heavier weapons out of terrorist hands. It also helped to keep al-Qaeda from infiltrating Gaza. Now, however, all Israel can do is look over the PA's shoulder at an X-ray machine in Rafah.

I guess this means that Palestinians can become more productive, to the extent that they can quit digging tunnels at their southern border to move weapons from Egypt. And, since they now get their own seaport unmolested by Israeli security checkpoints, they can once again await those humanitarian shipments on board the Karine A, confident that they will reach their intended targets.

Man, no wonder Rice had to work so hard to get the Palestinians to take this deal. Even Mahmoud Abbas had to ask himself about a secret "catch" in the language. I'd ask where the notion of this hole-filled southern border comes from, but having lived extensively in Southern California and Arizona, unfortunately I already know.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 16, 2005 6:34 AM

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» That's How They Describe It from A Blog For All
The New York Times analyzes Secretary of State Rice's brokering of a deal between the Palestinians and Israelis and calls it "a risky dive into Middle East politics." That's not news. That's acceptance of the fact that in more than 60 years, there's be... [Read More]

Tracked on November 16, 2005 9:12 AM

» Were Condi's Demon-eyes Prescient? from Abracadabrah
When I read stories like this one, about the Mideast deal just brokered by Condi, giving Palestinians control of the Gaza-Egypt border, as well as free access to their own port in Gaza, I feel like demonizing Condi myself. Condi, in fact, stated she ... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2005 11:41 AM

» For Israel, It's Like Bill Clinton Never Left from Hard Starboard
The Bush Administration may be fighting the GWOT elsewhere, but as far as the Jewish State is concerned, the White House's attitude is, "Oslo now, Oslo forever": Israel and the Palestinians settled Tuesday on the final details of a border agreemen... [Read More]

Tracked on November 17, 2005 4:49 PM


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