ישראל נאמן | Lectures, Articles, Tours: Israel | Mideast onTarget | Elliot Chodoff & Yisrael Ne'eman | Mubarak as an Accomplice to Gaza Terror 11.5.04

Mubarak as an Accomplice to Gaza Terror

11 May 2004

By Yisrael Ne'eman

Over the past two days eleven Israeli soldiers have died battling terrorists in the Gaza Strip when their armored personnel carriers ran over Palestinian bombs. The first incident took place in Gaza’s Zeitoun neighborhood where troops were on search and destroy missions to wipe out the Kassam rocket factories while the second occurred on the Philadelphi border road between Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip. Israel patrols the 12 kilometer Philadelphi stretch and border crossing to prevent terrorists, arms and ammunition from entering Gaza.

Terrorists and military contraband are entering the Strip from the Egyptian to the Gazan side of Rafiah (both populated by Palestinians and bisected by Philadelphi) via tunnels dug through the loess soil strata. The Egyptians refuse to halt the flow of weapons and terrorists into Gaza, apparently feeling they are safe from terror activities provided they approve an outlet against Israel.

Cairo has a long history of dealing with Islamic terrorism, beginning with the execution of Moslem Brotherhood founder, Sheikh Hassan el-Banna in early 1949. Egyptian police became convinced he was the mastermind behind the assassinations of prime ministers Ahmed Maher and Nokrakhi Pasha, the three attempts on PM Mustafa Nahas Pasha and the successful murders of the interior minister, the head of the police and the chief justice as well as dozens of other leaders and officials. Years later, in the 1990s, Egyptian internal security forces severely curtailed Islamic terror, which became a serious threat to state security.

Similar to the Saudis, who allowed Osama bin Laden to attack western targets in the hope that they would be spared the expected Al Qaeda carnage, Cairo turns a blind eye or possibly encourages attacks against Israel in Gaza to divert the pressure from themselves. The Egyptians could easily stop the flow of terrorists and explosives from Sinai into Gaza by patrolling a 15 – 20 kilometer security road and fence from the Israeli border at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom (at the very southwest tip of the Strip) to the Mediterranean Sea at a point ten kilometers from the Sinai - Gaza border along the coast. Gates crossing the road would be internal checkpoints.

President Hosni Mubarak’s policies are beyond passive criminal negligence and today must be considered accelerators to Gazan terror activity, whether of the Islamic or Fatah brand (PLO and Arafat). Neither Israel nor the US will call Mubarak to order, for fear of disturbing what remains of the frigid peace between Jerusalem and Cairo.

Following the Saudi example, one can expect the terrorists to turn on Egypt as they have against Riyadh. Cairo’s policies are extremely short sighted, as eventually the Islamic terror menace will boomerang against the Egyptians.

Mubarak must decide now, whether he is harboring or alternatively, battling terrorism, without distinction of the intended victims being Arabs, westerners, Jews or Israelis. Should he decide to ignore Cairo’s responsibilities in crushing this scourge, Egypt must be treated as a nation supporting terror activities, and Mubarak as an accomplice.