Unintended Consequences in Gaza

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(Rush Hour at the Gaza/Rafah border)

The situation in Gaza is very worrisome. There is no doubt the siege of Gaza has produced significant unintended consequences that may change the entire equation. There are too many other good analyses on this for me to bother getting into it. See those in Ha’aretz for example. That said, there’s an article in the Christian Science Monitor arguing that one of these unintended consequences may work in Israel’s favor insofar as it would allow Israel to further divorce itself from Gaza, completing the work it begun in the 2005 “disengagement.” I personally doubt anything good will come of this, nor do I think Egypt would go for it because they’re worried about the domestic consequences that a strengthened Hamas will have on their own Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood. They also want no part of what they see as Israel’s problem alone. If the situation at the Gaza/Rafah border is not contained immediately it may spiral out of control to the point of threatening the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord — a truly disastrous outcome.

(Christian Science Monitor) — When Palestinians toppled a metal wall separating the Gaza Strip from Egypt Wednesday, many expected Israeli officials to howl over Egypt allowing Hamas “terrorists” to rearm. After all, a cornerstone of the current peace process was supposed to be isolating Gaza. But the Israeli response has been surprisingly muted. In fact, some Israeli officials see some advantage in the breach. Israel, which occupied the Gaza Strip in 1967, has since then clamored, intermittently and often privately, for Egypt to assume greater responsibility for the impoverished coastal strip, or even for Cairo to take control of Gaza. By breaking down the wall and sending Egypt a tidal wave of people pressed to stock up on everyday necessities, Hamas militants – who have been planning the break for weeks, according to local media reports – may have inadvertently brought Israel closer to this goal...” Click for full article

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