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Mr. Osama's Neighborhood

By Michael Freund
9/28/2005, 12:00 AM

Israel, it appears, has a new neighbor – Osama Bin Laden.

In a lecture at Tel Aviv University, Major-General Aharon Zeevi Farkash, the head of Israel’s Military Intelligence, confirmed that Al-Qaeda has now established a presence in Gaza in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal from the area.

Mr_rogers You’ll recall that in the immediate aftermath of Israel’s retreat, there was chaos along Gaza’s southern boundary with Egypt, as thousands of people moved freely in both directions without anyone there to check them.

As a result, analysts feared that terrorists would exploit the opening to move men and equipment into Gaza for possible use in future attacks against the Jewish state.

Now, Maj.-Gen. Farkash has confirmed precisely that.

I don't want to beat my own drum here, but in a post back on July 24th, several weeks before the Gaza pullout, I wrote the following:

“Terrorists love a vacuum, and that is what an Israeli pullout from Gaza would create, providing groups such as Al-Qaeda with a foothold at the Jewish state’s doorstep.

Moreover, Egypt’s ongoing failure to clamp down on the terrorists demonstrates that they can not be relied upon to patrol the boundary between Gaza and Sinai – a step that Sharon has reportedly already accepted as part of his pullout plan.

…however difficult it might appear to be to maintain an Israeli presence in Gaza, the consequences of withdrawal might only prove far more devastating – and lethal.”

So now, as a result of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s abandonment of Gaza, the people of Israel have yet another terrorist group poised next door to worry about.

Nice going, Arik.