Gaza-Egypt Border Wide Open Despite Egyptian Promises

Contrary to Egyptian commitments, the border between Gaza and Egypt has been wide open for two days, with unmonitored movement of personnel and weapons between the two areas.

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Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 13:23


Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said Tuesday that Egypt's failure to close the border "could have serious repercussions," but stopped short of threatening an IDF re-entry to the Philadelphi corridor, instead opting to file a complaint with US Ambassador Dan Kurtzer.

As of Wednesday at noon, PA Arabs and Egyptians were still crossing the border freely, carrying large packages, goods and unknown quantities of weapons and ammunition that until Monday had been smuggled through underground tunnels. The main IDF activity along the route up until withdrawal was uncovering the elaborate tunnel system through which weapons and drugs were transported.

Many parts of the wall between Egyptian and Gazan Rafiach were torn down by armed PA residents, some reportedly members of the PA police, using explosives.

Security forces are worried about the possibility that in the days the border has been left open Al-Qaeda terrorists and upgraded Katyusha missiles and explosives have already been brought into Gaza.

"The mantra of all the retreat-supporting academics, diplomats, brass, politicians and journalists [was] that 'Egypt will stop the smuggling because they want quiet in Gaza,' " said media watchdog Dr. Aaron Lerner of Independent Media Research Analysis. "What is transpiring on the ground certainly seems to fit an alternative interpretation," Lerner added, "that Egypt is interested in having Israel tied down in an ongoing low grade war of attrition."

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Dr. Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) harshly attacked the "light-handed attitude of the Egyptian security forces," and added, "The ink has not even dried and this miserable agreement has already compromised the demilitarized status of Sinai and will now result in the Philadelphi Corridor becoming a central weapons running route."