Israel: We Wash Our Hands Of Gaza

The explosion of the wall in Rafah intended to demonstrate defiance of Israel by Hamas, but it may have given the Israelis a bigger opening than it provided Gazans. An official declared that the unaddressed breach would now allow Egypt to handle Gaza’s needs — and that Israel could completely shut off energy and medical supplies to the people who keep launching rockets at their cities (via Shrink Wrapped, who saw this coming):

Washington, Cairo, and Jerusalem are expressing “concern” regarding the flow of hundreds of thousands of Gazans into Egypt, testing border agreements that have existed since Israel completely withdrew from the heavily populated strip in 2005. Some Israeli officials, nevertheless, saw an “opportunity” in yesterday’s event, suggesting that responsibility for Gaza’s humanitarian situation should be shifted to Egypt.
Egyptian officials said that yesterday’s event occurred after an explosion on the border crossing from the Sinai desert into the Hamas-controlled Gaza strip. After the explosion, which blew the border barriers open, a teeming flow of Palestinian Arab men and women — up to 350,000 people, according to some counts — crossed the border into Egypt, in search of heating oil, food, cigarettes, and other goods Gaza lacks. …
The official — who was intimately involved in forging the agreements between Israel and its neighbors when Prime Minister Sharon decided on “disengagement” from Gaza — said the “paradigm change” after yesterday’s event at Rafah may lead to a reexamination of some realities those agreements have created, such as Israel’s responsibility for the flow of humanitarian goods into Gaza.

The Gazans will have to rely on other Arabs for their sustenance, and that may prove a poor strategy in the long term. Arab nations such as Egypt have long used the Palestinians for their own political purposes, but have done nothing to alleviate their conditions. They see the Palestinians as useful props but nothing more, and would rather have little to do with them.
Egypt has little desire to become their long-term supplier for energy, food, and humanitarian needs. They want that pressure to stay on Israel as a means to gain concessions in other negotiations, and to tie Israel down economically and militarily. But if Egypt isn’t willing to secure the Rafah crossing properly, then they have removed what leverage they have with Gaza. Israel certainly won’t continue to allow border crossings when the Gazans can bring all sorts of weapons and explosives through Rafah from Egypt, and if Egypt wants to encourage them to buy goods through Rafah, then Israel doesn’t need to do it at all.
Israel should follow through on this threat. Cease all humanitarian provisions and make it clear to Hamas and the Gazans that they need to rely on other Arabs for their sustenance. We’ll see how long it takes for Egypt to close Rafah again under those circumstances. Most likely, it will be a matter of days.

One thought on “Israel: We Wash Our Hands Of Gaza”

  1. Was The Hamas Planned Explosion Of The Rafah Wall Supposed To Hurt Israel?

    Yes it was planned and it appears that the efforts of Hamas will play to the advantage of Israel, as she washes her hands of Gaza. The Gazans have depended on Israel for their electricity and medical supplies. Who will take care of that now?

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