In case you missed it, the People of Gaza “spontaneously” lined up along the Gaza/Egypt border, broke through the heavy wall, and are scrambling into Egypt.
Jihad Watch which also asks why Egypt is allowed to have a wall and Israel is not.
And the Times Online article Jihad Watch cites.
Reading CNN and Fox, we get the AP wire splash and a few photos that contradict the “Hamas used landmines” angle. We also hear that this “spontaneous” event was the result of Israel closing border crossings after Hamas’ continued rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. This is why I went into more sources. As we discussed before, most media outlets are hopelessly shallow in their reporting. It is up to the reader to become their own investigator.
For instance, how many people know that Egypt maintains a large wall to keep Palestinians out? Where was the international outcry?
Palestinians, running out of fuel, food and other supplies after Israel closed Gaza border crossings, poured into Egypt through blown-out and torn-down breaches in the border wall.
Egyptian guards stood by without intervening, and Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman announced that the nation would remain open to the needy “as long as this is a humanitarian crisis.”
Well, the usual “it’s Israel’s fault” is there and supposedly these are “starving people” and it is a “humanitarian crisis”. Standard unreliable AP surface-deep wire report. We also hear that the Egyptians did nothing to stop the breach.
Jubilant men and women crossed unhindered by border controls over toppled corrugated metal along sections of the barrier, carrying goats, chickens and crates of Coca-Cola. Some brought back televisions, car tires and cigarettes and one man even bought a motorcycle. Vendors sold soft drinks and baked goods to the crowds.
A few things here.
1. The food angle initially checks out, but then we get TVs, cigarettes, car tires, etc. So how “starving” are these people? And is it Israel’s fault that Hamas is, well, Hamas?
2. Vendors were already set up in the area. I know Arabs are fast to set up markets, but not this fast. Just the initial read pokes holes into the spontaneity of this event.
More from CNN on why Egypt did nothing.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he had ordered his troops to allow Palestinians to cross into Egypt because they were starving, according to Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA.
“I told them to let them come in and eat and buy food and then return them later as long as they were not carrying weapons,” Mubarak told The Associated Press.
But TVs are okay…. And who is checking for weapons? Are they really stopping any of these people?
“We want to buy food. We want to buy rice and sugar, milk and wheat and some cheese,” Abu Taha said, adding that he would also get some cheap Egyptian cigarettes. He said he could get the food in Gaza, but at three times the price.
Police from the militant Islamic group Hamas, which controls Gaza, directed the traffic. Egyptian border guards took no action and imposed no border controls on those who crossed.
Okay, so there IS food, but because of Hamas it is expensive. But we cannot forget the ciggs. Now for the WTF factor: “Police” from the terrorist group Hamas are directing traffic??!!?? Well, THAT should make rational people feel really secure.
Fox goes into some of the infighting between Hamas and Fatah.
In Gaza, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called for an urgent meeting with Egypt and Fatah to work out a new shared arrangement for Gaza’s border crossings and suggested that Hamas would be prepared to cede some control to the Abbas government in the West Bank.
“We don’t want to be the only ones in control of these matters,” Haniyeh said.
But Hamas’ position was swiftly denounced by Abbas’ government. Ashraf Ajrami, a Cabinet minister, said Haniyeh’s call for participation was meant to sidestep Abbas’ demand that Hamas return all of Gaza to his control.
“Everything Haniyeh is saying is simply to exploit this situation to win political gains. … It is a part of the problem, not the solution,” Ajrami said
In Washington, White House press secretary Dana Perino blamed Hamas for the chaos in Gaza and said the instability was “very troubling” for Israel.
“It is Hamas’ actions of lobbing upwards of 150 rockets a day into their territory that has caused the blockade — has caused Israel to implement the blockade,” Perino said. “Hamas is not in control of the situation, they are not governing well, and the people of the — the Palestinian people are starting to realize that they do have a choice,” she added.
“The Palestinians living in Gaza are living under chaos because of Hamas, and the blame has to be placed fully at their feet.”
Well, at least someone can see past the haze and blame the real instigators: Hamas and their continued attacks.
But how “spontaneous was this event? Both the CNN and the Times shed light on this angle.
The mass movement of people into Egypt began about 2 a.m. Wednesday, when residents reported hearing explosions near the border. Authorities said militants set off several explosions.
At least six spots on the border wall had been blown apart. In another stretch, a steel coil wall had been sheared off.
By daybreak, lines of people waited restlessly as a frontloader tore chunks of concrete from a border wall. Hundreds of cars streamed toward Rafah — on the Egyptian border — unloading occupants who then jumped over.
2am explosions, a large front loader already in place, hundreds of cars ready? Just how long has this “spontaneous act” been in preparation?
From the Times:
Hamas, which took control of the coastal territory last June after a stand-off with Fatah, has denied that its men set off the explosions that brought down as much as two-thirds of the 12-km wall in the early hours.
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.
Note different numbers of Gazans (I guess “Palestinians” is now too Latin a term). Also, “months” indicates plans which extended long before the embargo from Israel. The torch cutting is consistent with the damages on the wall as seen in all three sources.
But just HOW could this be done?
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.”
So was this a long planned operation by Hamas or a spontaneous mass movement of Gazans?
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.
Instead Rafah became a huge Middle Eastern bazaar. Thousands of people were herding back cows, sheep and even camels from Egypt into the Gaza strip. Others brought back motorbikes while many women lugged back cans of olive oil and men could be seen weighed down with jerry-cans full of fuel.
Moneychangers flocked to the border, offering Egyptian pounds and American dollars for the Gazans’ Israeli shekels. The shops soon began to run out, however, and those returning were complaining of sky-rocketing prices.
Instead, many people jumped into taxis – or even on the roofs of taxis – to take themselves to El Arish, 45km away, the nearest town with shops.
In no-man’s land, along the stretch that the Israelis used to call Philadelphia Road before their disengagement in 2005, Hamas gunmen raced along in pick-up trucks flying the group’s green flag. Egyptian riot police waited by the gates of the old border crossing, leaning with nonchalance against their riot shields.
So nice to see the “vigilance” of the Egyptian guards and knowing the presence of Hamas terrorists.. erm.. “Police” were there to keep everything “orderly”. Also, we see vendors and markets already in place, ready for the “Gazan” shoppers. Naa, this could not have been long planned at all.
And where is all the Muslim pity on the “poor Palestinians”? Why was this not donated to them by Egypt? Why ask when the answer is apparent? The “Palestinians” are the “useful idiots” of the Islamic world. They live in squalor under corrupt Hamas/Fatah leaders and are useful so long as they fight a useless proxy war against Israel. As one commenter on the Times site stated:
Egypt has a fence to keep the Palestinians out and it’s the Israelis that the Palestinians hate?
If Israel treated the Palestinians like the other Arab states do, the Palestinians would have been dead from starvation years ago.
WHAT IT’S MADE OF: For most of its seven-mile length, the barrier is corrugated sheet metal, with short stretches of concrete blocks and of barbed wire. Through the border town of Rafah, where the breach occurred, it is metal. Its height ranges from eight to nine feet. It was built by Israel, starting in 2001 after a surge in Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
WHO’S IN CHARGE: The Egyptian side is patrolled by the Egyptian military, while the Gaza side was policed by the Israeli military until it withdrew its forces in September 2005. Palestinian Authority forces took over, but they were ousted last summer in a bloody takeover by the militant Islamic Hamas movement, whose militiamen are at the frontier.
OPENINGS, CLOSINGS: Since the Hamas takeover, the Gaza-Egypt border has been closed for most of the time. Immediately following the Israeli pullout, Gazans broke through the wall and crossed for several days until Egyptian guards restored order. The barrier was breached again in 2006, once by explosives and once with a bulldozer.
HOW EFFECTIVE: Despite the wall, smuggling of arms and contraband is rife, enabled by tunnels under the barrier. Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Egypt was doing a “terrible” job of policing, and Israel sent to Washington what it said was a video of Egyptian soldiers allowing Palestinian arms smuggling.
Earlier this month, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., said Egypt had agreed to work with U.S. trainers and spend $23 million of its U.S. military aid on equipment to detect tunnels and tighten security.