October 13, 2005

The "Occupation" of Palestine... By Egypt: Egypt Is In Charge of Palestinian Authority

For years, the Palestinians have complained about Israel's supposed "occupation" of Palestine. Israel has now pulled out of the Gaza Strip. It looks like Egypt is now occupying Palestine and has taken over the Palestinian Authority:

GAZA CITY — Egypt is taking effective control of the Palestinian Authority, according to PA officials.

The sources said that over the last few months leading up to the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Egypt has dominated several key areas of Palestinian government, particularly those affected by the pullout.

They said Egypt approves PA decisions regarding the deployment and training of Palestinian security forces, security operations and policy, development projects and senior appointments, Middle East Newsline reported.

"They are in every facet of the [Palestinian] Authority in Gaza," a PA source said. "It is correct to say that major decisions are not taken without Egypt's approval."

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the sources said, consults with Egypt on virtually every issue. They said Abbas relies on Egypt to restrain Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as protect him from rivals in the ruling Fatah movement.

The sources said Egypt's control over the PA increased significantly in wake of the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip on Sept. 12. They said Egypt now controls both sides of the 14-kilometer border with the Gaza Strip.

Egypt has been given control of both the PA airport and sea port, the sources said. They said Egyptian personnel would supervise and operate the PA airport at Dahaniya in the southern Gaza Strip as well as the sea port south of Gaza City.

"There's an understanding between President Mubarak and President Abbas to jointly operate the international airport," PA Information Minister Nabil Shaath said.

Cairo has also sent government personnel to man critical facilities in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian officers have been directing PA security operations.

"Abbas cannot use the security forces against Hamas or Jihad without Egyptian permission," another source said. "He could threaten, but everybody knows that the authority remains with Egypt."

I wonder if the Left will be denouncing this occupation anytime soon? Will Cindy Sheehan and the various anti-War groups, who blamed terrorism on Israel's occupation of Palestine, come forth to denounce Egypt?? Probably not. After all, for all of the years that the leftist groups denounced the Israeli occupation of Gaza, they have been silent of Syria's occupation of Lebanon. It is not a problem, evidently, unless the Jews are responsible... hypocrites.
It Abbas truly has the backing of Egypt, then the Palestinians cannot plausibly argue that Abbas does not have the strength to take on Islamic Jihad and Hamas or that further Israeli concessions are necessary to improve Abbas' standing among the Palestinians. Yet, I am sure they will continue to do so.

On the other hand, the United States pays Egypt $2,000,000,000 a year in aid (essentially to cease hostility with Israel). It is about time we got something for the money we give them... why don't we put pressure on Egypt to reign in the Islamic militants in Gaza and the West Bank?
It would not likely work because Egypt has no interest in a cessation of hostilities between Israel and Palestinians. The Palestinians have been living in refugee camps for years because none of their Arab brethren will assimilate the Palestinians into their respective populations. Rather, the Palestinians remain a great diversion for Arab leaders. Instead of discussing the terrible economies, corruption and lack of freedom in Arab lands, the Arab leaders have invested big time in stoking their peoples' anger over the "Occupation of Palestine". For years, Egypt allowed or turned a blind eye towards the smuggling of weapons into Gaza from Egypt by Palestinians for use in the Intifada. There has been some speculation that Egypt itself has actively participated in the arming of the terrorists.
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