Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Israel to open Gaza border crossings?

Dear Friends,

The Israeli cabinet met today to discuss mounting US led international pressure for Israel to further open Gaza crossing points.

The discussion comes just a day after the IDF foiled a major border attack 10 Palestinian gunmen, mortars and booby-trapped horses. Apparently all part of a plan to breach the border, kill Israelis and hopefully (for them) kidnap another Israeli soldier. And it comes as we approach the 3 year anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit - 3 years that the Palestinians have cruelly refused to meet their obligations under the Geneva Conventions to allow Red Cross access - let alone his release or even just a sign of life.

And what good would come of additional goods allowed through the border?  Just two days ago, Palestinian Media Watch published translations of May 20 2009 reports by the official Palestinian Authority newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida,  confirming that thousands of tons of medical equipment - including 46 ambulances stripped of their equipment and painted black to be used as military vehicles - have been hijacked by Hamas for direct military use or for re-sale to the population after confiscation.  So much for the humanitarian aid that Israel allows through the borders.  It just supports Hamas' nefarious activities.

So does this seem auspicious timing for the US to be pressuring Israel to lower its border defences?  Wouldn't the US be better off putting pressure on Hamas to conform to its obligations under international law, stop all violence against Israel and remove its jackboot from the necks of its own citizens?

What many Israelis find strange, though, is what seems to be US pressure for Israel to leave its settlements in Judea and Samaria.  The broad Israeli consensus is that it would turn into another Gaza, with a Hamas take-over just a matter of time. Aside from the inevitable rocket attacks on all of Israel's civilian population, they question what would be gained by allowing the destruction of the infant West Bank economy as happened in Gaza?


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