Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Egypt Discovers Tunnel Under Gaza Border

Now that Israel is out of Gaza, will Egypt live up to it's agreement to monitor the border and prevent illegal arms smuggling? Believe it or not, the answer just might be yes (From Associated Press):

El-ARISH, Egypt - Egypt said Wednesday it had found an arms-smuggling tunnel under the Gaza border, and Palestinians crossing the frontier were warned to return by sunset when passport controls will be reimposed.

Egyptian border guards discovered the tunnel in the al-Duhniya area, 2 1/2 miles south of the Rafah crossing point, on Tuesday evening, a security official said.

The tunnel contained 38 firearms and three rocket-propelled grenades, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The tunnel penetrated to the Palestinian side of the frontier, and Palestinian security forces seized the weapons Wednesday, the official said.

(Pastorius) But, even if Egypt does live up to it's committment, they seem to be no match for the Islamic Jihadis of the Peaceful State of Palestine, who yesterday blew a hole in the border crossing (From Little Green Footballs):

Hamas militants have destroyed a section of a concrete barrier erected along the Gaza-Egypt border.

Palestinian and Egyptian troops have been trying to shore up the barrier to stop Palestinians crossing into Egypt after the withdrawal of Israeli troops. In chaotic scenes, thousands of Palestinians have streamed over the border in the last few days without undergoing official checks.

Despite this, Egypt says that its Gaza border is officially closed.

Militants from Hamas cleared an area before setting off explosives that blew away a section of the wall. Palestinian security officers present did nothing to prevent them. A local Hamas commander warned them not to try to intervene, the AFP news agency reported.

(Pastorius) I wonder how Egypt feels about it's illegal immigration problem?

Meanwhile on the other border (the one they share with Israel) Hamas is threatening to destroy Israel entirely. And, amazingly enough, for the second time in the past few days, Agence French Press is reporting things from the land of reality, instead of the land of dhimmitude:

KFAR DAROM, Gaza Strip (AFP) - Officers from Hamas's militia are vowing to turn Gaza into a huge armed camp devoted to digging Israel's grave, with tunnels, rocket attacks and a free flow of weapons and militants from Egypt.

"If Israel attacks the West Bank, we will fire rockets from here," thundered Hamas officer Abu Muad, bouncing his young son on his lap during a "victory parade" in the abandoned Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom in central Gaza.

Ground commanders, with bushy black beards and pistols strapped to their sides, rode defiantly in a convoy of 50 jeeps and SUVs to cheers of Allah Akbar (God is Great) from a rapt crowd.

Many officers remained unmasked, in testimony to their soaring confidence after Israel ended its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip on Monday.

Commanders from Hamas's Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades armed wing spoke triumphantly of their post-Israeli withdrawal war strategy from the Gaza Strip.

They sketched out a vision of tunnels into Israel, regular rocket attacks on the Jewish state; a free flow of weapons and militants from Egypt; and constant smuggling to the West Bank.

They spoke of their determination to turn the strip of Mediterranean coast, home to 1.3 million people, into an armed camp intent on the destruction of the Jewish state with a Palestinian Authority powerless to stop them.

Speaking perfect English, an Al-Qassam officer bragged that the group was banking on smuggling more and better quality arms from Egypt now that Israeli troops had handed security on the southern border to Egyptian guards.

Abu Muad painted Gaza as a giant weapons laboratory, where militants will perfect their rockets, such as their trademark Qassams.

Abu Hamza, a refugee camp commander, said Hamas would infiltrate Israel from Gaza despite the security fence and high-tech surveillance.

"We will have tunnels into Israel. We can smuggle into the West Bank by many means. In the name of God, Gaza is the first step and next the West Bank."

Israel's deputy defence minister, Zeev Boim, warned Monday that Israel would treat any future rocket or mortar attack from Gaza as tantamount to an act of aggression of one state against another.

I like the way Zeev put that. Sounds familliar.