Hamas has to keep
posturing to prevent being portrayed as pathetic. For all their brave pronouncements,
Hamas has been largely ineffective, either in helping the people of Gaza, or
putting any hurt on Israel. Egypt tolerating the Hamas border assault can be
understood if you realize that most Egyptian media, and public opinion, still
considers any attacks on Israel to be a good thing. Throughout the Arab world,
the idea that "Israel must be destroyed" is still widely accepted, and has
never faded over the last sixty years. The Middle East is a very intolerant
place, which is the main reason why there has been no unity, despite many
locals calling for it. Palestinians continued to fire rockets into southern
Israel. Few of the rockets hit anything of value.
January 27, 2008: So far, nearly 40 Egyptian soldiers and
police have been injured by Hamas gunmen and Palestinian civilians. The
Egyptians don't want to start a war with Hamas, but it is clear that the longer
the breeches remain, the more criminal activity (smuggling, of people and
goods) will go on. Egyptian police have been halting Palestinians trying to
cross the desert to Cairo. This would enable Palestinians to try and get to
another country, particularly in Europe, where they can claim asylum from
Israeli oppression, and get away with it. The Hamas security forces have backed
off a bit, and are stopping Palestinians in cars from crossing the border.
Apparently the Egyptians have made it clear that force was going to be used if
then went on much longer. Some of the Palestinians the Egyptians caught, trying
to drive to Cairo, had weapons and explosives in their cars. The Egyptians know
that Hamas is harboring Egyptian Islamic terrorists, as well as Palestinian
terrorists eager for a chance to blow up things in Egypt.
January 25, 2008: In two days. About 700,000
Palestinians crossed the border into Egypt. Many began to bring their cars
through the breeches in the wall.
In Lebanon, a bomb killed the army
officer in charge of investigating who has been killing Lebanese politicians
via terrorist type attacks (typically, bombs). All the victims have been
anti-Syria and anti-Iran (in other words, anti-Shia, at least to Lebanese Shia).
There has been an increase in violence between Shia and non-Shia in Lebanon.
January 24, 2008: Hamas gunmen on the Gaza-Egypt border fired
on Egyptian policemen who tried to halt movement through the border. But Egypt
moved in hundreds of riot police and paramilitary troops. Some of the many
holes in the wall were now manned by Egyptian police, and no one could pass. But
Hamas continued to use violence against the Egyptians, and the Egyptian police
were forced back.
January 23, 2008: Hamas blew holes in
the wall between Gaza and Egypt Civilians were allowed to move into Egypt and
go shopping. The media was alerted, and the international news outlets soon had
pictures of the border breech. The Egyptian border guards were too few in
number to physically restrain the Palestinians, and were ordered not to use
force. Partly that was because the holes in the wall were guarded by Hamas
January 22, 2008: International outrage
at the lights going out in Gaza prompted Israel to allow fuel shipments to
resume, and to make sure enough food is getting in.
January 20, 2008: Israel tried to force
Hamas to halt the rocket attacks on southern Israel by cutting off fuel
supplies. This led to the Gaza power plant running out of fuel, and shutting
down. Much of Gaza went dark. Palestinian rockets continued to land in southern