Tag Archives: Gaza – Crossings

Santa Israel Delivers Goods To Gazans

Israel reopened the border crossings into Gaza in a last minute attempt by its government to prevent the escalation of violence caused by constant rocket attacks from Hamas forces in the strip. Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he authorized the opening of the crossings for “essential humanitarian supplies” in response to requests from the international community. It is reported about 90 trucks loaded with grain, fuel, and other goods have entered Gaza. On Wednesday, Hamas fired about 80 rockets into Israel as the so-called “truce” between its forces and Israel ended earlier this week. Prime Minister Olmert made clear this was a last minutes attempt to avoid war and if Hamas continued with its bombing it risked the prospect of an Israel invasion of the area and the death of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians.

Israel may decide on a step-by-step escalation of use of its armed forces in Gaza in order to avoid a major operation. Hamas is beguiled by the fight put up in Lebanon by Hizbullah and believes it can perform a similar success in Gaza. Hizbullah had mountains in which to hide and use in defending themselves against the Israel armed forces. Gaza is flat and open to a tank attack. Hopefully, calmer minds in Hamas will lead to discussions rather than to rockets.

Israel OKs Hamas Desire For Egyptian Ties

The Israel government looks with favor on an announcement by Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, for closer economic ties with Egypt. Haniyeh told the daily Palestine in an interview that Hamas would like to see Gaza’s economy cut its ties with Israel and instead forge closer relations with Egypt. “We will restore control over the border in cooperation with Egypt.” Egypt, however, has closed the border even though hundreds of Gaza women protested outside the border area. The Hamas demand for a role in controlling the border has been rejected by Pesident Mubarak. Hamas also said it would accept the return of European Union monitors to the Rafah border crossing on condition they reside in Egypt or Gaza.

In the long run, Palestinians are linked with Israel in various economic relations. Hamas leaders frequently assume a stance of power in discussing issues with other nations. Unfortunately, Egypt has its own problems and is not interested in becoming more actively involved in issues of Gaza. Their nation has a high unemployment rate and has problems with the Muslim Brotherhood, the last thing Mubarak needs is another conflict with Islamic groups. Hamas leadership ignores reality, and, in so doing, makes things worse for Palestinians.