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Friday, July 05, 2013

Egypt's backlash against Hamas begins

Egyptian police closed the Rafah crossing from Gaza today, after attacks on Egyptian army positions this morning. The closings will remain in effect "until further notice."

So far, no "human rights" agency has condemned this clear violation of the rule against collective punishment against Gazans. They seem to only get worked up over one country allegedly doing that.

Palestine Press Agency quotes a German press agency as saying that Egyptian excavators and bulldozers demolished a number of smuggling tunnels on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Thursday. Eyewitnesses saw much earth-moving equipment, alongside a number of armored vehicles of the Egyptian army carrying heavy machine guns.

It looks like Egypt is taking Gaza smuggling seriously, years after Israel rang the alarm.

Also, the Egyptian Attorney General decided to investigate former president Morsi on charges of collaborating with foreign bodies. Which foreign bodies? Hamas! The accusation is that the Muslim Brotherhood collaborated with Hamas in the jailbreaks of many Brotherhood members as the Mubarak regime was falling.

In Gaza itself, Hamas instructed its spokespeople to remain mum on the entire topic of Egypt, afraid that someone will say something that will give Egypt an excuse to further disenfranchise the group. But privately Hamas has been meeting around the clock to watch developments and come up with a strategy on how to handle them. One of the immediate pressing issues is that Hamas was able to get materials from Egypt at the Egyptian subsidized prices, and now they have to pay full price to Israel for the same goods.

Hamas already recently lost its Iranian patron. Losing Egypt could cause Hamas to be unable to pay salaries, and that could make things very interesting in Gaza over the next few months.