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Philedelphi Corridor

Reader comment on item: [Israel's Gaza Withdrawal:] A Democracy Killing Itself

Submitted by Faith Gini (Israel), Aug 19, 2005 at 01:14

I live in Israel too. Thank you, Dr. Pipes, for your insights.

It is obvious that the Israeli who commented here lives in the center of the country and probably thinks he is immune to the probable outcome of the withdrawl from Gaza. I, however, live directly on the Israel-Egyptian border about 40 kms. south of Rafiah next to Nizzana.

Over the past 3 years there were numerous attempts by terrorist gangs from Gaza to infiltrate our small farming community by way of Egyptian Sinai. Only 3 years ago at least 4 Hamas squads infiltrated into Egypt from Gaza by way of tunnels. One squad ambushed and killed an Israeli reservist on patrol only a few kilometers north of here. On a previous occasion my children had to barricade themselves inside one of the houses with a young armed soldier (on leave from his unit) guarding them before my husband and I were able to get home from work.

In response to the immediate threat, new fences were erected around the two communities nearest the border and other security measures were taken that hadn't been in place previously.

As incredible as the forced evacuation of Gush Hatif is, I would like to point out that the true insanity is Israel giving up control of the Philedelphi road separating Egypt from the Gaza Strip. By turning over the control of these few kilometers of road, Israel is in effect providing an open border between corrupt Egyptian police units (who can't even control terrorism in their own area in Sinai) and the terrorist gangs in Gaza.

Now, instead of creeping through deep tunnels to reach Egyptian Sinai, these gangs will merely have to pay a bit of baksheesh and walk over, fully armed, drive down half an hour to our area and infilitrate our border, much of which isn't even fenced.

In the meantime, Abu Mazen has already promised the Sema Dana clan (the main weapons and drugs smugglers working the Sinai-Negev route) control of the crossings into Egyptian Sinai in Rafiah.The massive amount of weapons that will soon pour into the Gaza Strip will negate any positive attributes that the withdrawal could otherwise provide.

This is a situation entirely different from the withdrawal from southern Lebanon, but most people supporting the withdrawal from Gaza here in Israel still try to use that as some kind of excuse or encouragement (re at least one of your readers in your comment section).

The only twisted kind of logic I can see in all of the incredibly irresponsible decisions carried out by Sharon is that he may fully expect Gaza to turn (in the words of Mohamad Dahlan on the BBC earlier this week) into a new Afghanistan, justifying massive military intervention at a future date in order to cut Gaza down to size. How this will be accomplished now that the Egyptians (our 'partners in peace') will be involved in the Rafiah area has never been explained by anyone in the defense establishment or the prime minister's office.

Many people here in Israel who support the withdrawal, including avowed 'peaceniks', have no qualms about telling people that "now we can send in our airforce to pound them and the world won't be able to say anything".

This kind of logic shows the lack of understanding they have concerning the true intentions and attitude of the rest of the world towards Israel. The international community will never justify Israel defending itself, no matter how pressed she may become.

Dr. Pipes is correct in his observations concerning the consquences of the withdrawl (I would say the surrender) of the Gaza Strip.

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