Thursday, October 11, 2012

The mysterious decision to destroy the tunnels .

By Fahmi Howeidi

"Neither I nor anyone I know understands why Egypt has decided to demolish the tunnels connecting Gaza and Northern Sinai; not even the Mubarak regime resorted to this. I know that the spokesman for the armed forces told a press conference that the step was taken for security reasons; they're important, but they're not convincing as we were not told how the tunnels threaten Egypt's national security.....

The destruction of the tunnels is also something that does not seem right for a Muslim Brotherhood presidency which many thought would be more just and understanding of the needs of the besieged Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Some even expected that the Egyptian President would open the Rafah crossing in order to ease the blockade of Gaza; no one thought that the post-revolution government would tighten the siege, thus adding to the Palestinians' pain and suffering.
Please don't say that the tunnels are illegal, because the Palestinians only resorted to them out of necessity to get around an illegal siege which is still choking and humiliating them. Let's say that the tunnels are a "minor offence" whereas the blockade is collective punishment, which is illegal in itself.....

Egypt's vagueness on the issue of the tunnels is down to two factors: the first is that the Egyptian security services are used to covering up their failures by resorting to accusing the Palestinians of committing crimes in Egypt. This happened with the bomb attack on the Saints Church in Alexandria, and in the accusation that Palestinians shot at demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Maybe the security services used the same tactic in the wake of the attack on the Egyptian soldiers at Rafah during Ramadan, when 16 were killed.
The second factor is that the intelligence services employ the same personnel as when they advised Mubarak.....

....The promises made to the US and Israel by Presidents Sadat and Mubarak mean that the Palestinian leadership has to lower its expectations, until further notice......."

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