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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hamas spent months cutting through Rafah wall

The collapse of the apartheid wall separating the Gazan and Egyptian halves of the city of Rafah (picture at top left) did not happen overnight. In fact, the Times of London reports that the 'operation' to cut through the wall took months. (Hat Tip: Memeorandum)
But a Hamas border guard interviewed by The Times at the border today admitted that the Islamist group was responsible and had been involved for months in slicing through the heavy metal wall using oxy-acetylene cutting torches.

That meant that when the explosive charges were set off in 17 different locations after midnight last night the 40ft wall came tumbling down, leaving it lying like a broken concertina down the middle of no-man's land as an estimated 350,000 Gazans flooded into Egypt.

The guard, Lieutenant Abu Usama of the Palestinian National Security, said of the cutting operation: "I've seen this happening over the last few months. It happened in the daytime but was covered up so that nobody would see."

Asked whether he had reported it to the government, he replied: "It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to?"

Abu Usama, who normally works from a small guard cabin in no-man's land, added: "Last night we were told to keep away from the wall. We were ordered to stay away because they were going to break the blockade."


The skill of the Hamas demolition operation was clear to see along the border today, although The Times could not visit the entire length of the border. Where the charges had been laid, the wall was heavily damaged. Elsewhere it appeared to be clearly cut.

The destruction of the wall prompted hundreds of thousands to cross into Egypt – and Egyptian border guards did not try to stem the tide of humanity.
So how did the Egyptians miss all that drilling on the other side of the wall? My guess is that they didn't miss it, and that they let it happen on purpose (not the first time - remember the 'pilgrims') to gain revenge against Israel for tipping off the US Congress about Egyptian complicity in arms and ammunition smuggling and for jeopardizing part of Egypt's aid package as a result.

This is the Middle East. My enemy's enemy is my friend.


At 8:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - and how did Israel's vaunted intelligence network miss this development? What else have Shin Bet and Mossad been left in the dark about?

At 12:25 AM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

I don't get it: Doesn't this harm Egypt more than Israel? They don't want all those Gazans coming in, do they?

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