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Friday, January 02, 2009

Egyptian foreign minister slams Hamas again

Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit must like living dangerously. Today, he slammed Hamas again, saying that no cease fire will hold unless the terror group stops firing rockets at Israel, and criticizing the terror group for having given Israel an 'excuse' for launching the current attack on Gaza.
Ahmed Aboul Gheit's comments came as Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Egypt's president, part of a tour by the Turkish leader to work out an Egyptian-Turkish initiative to end the violence.

The initiative calls for a halt to Israel's assault, a return to a Hamas-Israel truce and an international mechanism to ensure the opening of Gaza border crossings. Erdogan met a day earlier with Syrian President Bashar Assad and was expected to head to Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Aboul Gheit said any eventual truce agreement should include a mechanism to oversee "that everything proceeds without one side causing problems with the other." He told journalists that the mechanism could involve "international forces or Arab forces or just observers."
The problem with this is that the current Israeli government would agree to it (since they regard UNIFIL as a success in southern Lebanon and that would be bad news for Israel. Any international forces or observers would become an obstacle when (not if, but when) Israel has to go back in again. That's one of the things I had in mind when I said that Israel has not learned its lesson.
Israeli officials have said they want international monitors to ensure compliance with any truce. It was not clear whether the mission of monitors proposed by Aboul Gheit would be to ensure the truce or be limited to observing border crossings, one of the central issues in the dispute over Gaza because of Israeli fears of smuggling of weapons.
See what I mean.

Meanwhile, it doesn't look like Egypt is going to open the Rafah crossing anytime soon.
Egypt in particular has come under harsh criticism for not opening up the Rafah crossing, the only access to Gaza that does not go through Israel. Its opponents accuse Egypt of joining Israel in blockading the territory in an attempt to remove Hamas, which took control in the tiny coastal strip in 2007 in fierce battles with loyalists of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Aboul Gheit repeated Egypt's argument that it cannot open Rafah unless Abbas' Palestinian Authority - which runs the West Bank - controls the crossing and international monitors are present.

He said Hamas wants Rafah opened because it would represent implicit Egyptian recognition of the militant group's control of Gaza. "Of course this is something we cannot do," Aboul Gheit said, because it would undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority and consecrate the split between Gaza and the West Bank.

Aboul Gheit said Egypt had proposed that Arab foreign ministers who gathered in Cairo a day earlier request Hamas allow Palestinian Authority control of Rafah. But Syria rejected the proposal, he said.
What's the difference between one terror organization and another?


At 1:07 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:08 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's no difference. Fatah is hardly less extreme than Hamas and both are committed to Israel's destruction. The Oslo process has however, reached a dead end and Israel's leaders are desperately seeking to revive its corpse. They may get a truce but will not change the Palestinians' attitude to Israel in the slightest and if that happens, the fighting will begin anew one day in the future.

At 1:46 AM, Blogger ledger said...

I think you are seeing a face saving gesture and the usual taqiyya by Ahmed Aboul Gheit. He knows Egypt has been a big part of the problem has to say something to pacify the West. But, behind closed doors I would guess he is saying something different. He probably trying to stall and entangle Israel in some useless “cease fire” agreements which will allow Hamas to dig in deeper and re-supply their weapons stocks.


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