Egypt Seeks Quiet Gaza Border

Egyptian authorities captured 12 armed Palestinians in the Sinai who were heading for resort areas on the coast in order to kill Israel tourists. The men entered Egypt after fences were blown up at the Ratah crossing where there are now 25,000 Egyptian troops massed to force all Palestinians still remaining on their territory to get back inside Gaza. The Egyptians do not want to militants running around their country disturbing its huge tourist trade by killing people.

There was a meeting in Cairo in which Hamas representatives insisted they wanted sole control over border crossings and rejected any recommendation for outside obsevers. However, after they left, senior Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zaher, told the Egyptians his group was prepared to allow the Palestinian Authority to control border crossings provided Israel had no say in the matter and was even willing to accept EU observers. The Egyptians urged Hamas to negotiate with Israel and promise to end rocket attacks.

Hamas is now willing to accept new elections for parliament provided there is a new election for the president. At some point, Hamas leaders have to recognize reality of their situation. Israel is not going to end control over border crossings until the rocket attacks cease. Hamas leaders often inhabit a bizarre world in which they can fire rockets and assume the object of rocket attacks will go along with their demands. Egypt has given Hamas some sound advice, they are wise to accept these recommendations.

  • Peter Quinn

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