Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Chaos "R" Us

More in from Gaza:

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. *** The mass crossings have raised questions whether Egypt is be able to honour its deal with Israel and maintain security along the border, correspondents say. Many of those crossing have been going to visit relatives stranded on the other side of the border, to buy cheaper food and other goods, or just out of curiosity. Israel fears militants will exploit the situation to smuggle weapons into Gaza. Egypt's ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Asim Ibrahim, has vowed to maintain law and order. But the diplomat expressed sympathy for Palestinians from Gaza crossing the border. "You're talking about people who have been physically in prison for the last 38 years. So some elements just rushed to the other side of the border," he added.
Regarding Mr. Ibrahim's sympathy to the "imprisoned" status of the Palestinians in Gaza, I'll only point this out: up until the Intifadah, Palestinians could at least go into Israel. It's striking that apparently, they were never allowed into Egypt and, indeed, it seems that the only thing keeping them out of Egypt was the Israeli military presence. Funny that we never heard anyone yelling, "Egypt, tear down those walls." (Or, perhaps, "Pharoah, let my people in!")