News Before It's News
About us | Ocnus? |

Front Page 
 Dark Side
 Defence & Arms
 Light Side

Defence & Arms Last Updated: Mar 17, 2019 - 10:17:13 AM

Israel: Gaza Has A Secret
By Strategy Page, March 13, 2019
Mar 16, 2019 - 1:03:55 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

In Egypt the government has completed the first phase of building the new town of Rafah. The original Rafah was torn down starting in 2015 because it was on the Gaza border and a popular place for smuggling tunnels into Gaza because there were nearly 2,000 buildings and structures there that could serve as the Egyptian end of a smuggling tunnel. Over 1,500 structures were torn down to create a buffer zone of cleared land over 1,000 meters wide. The new Rafah is two kilometers from the border and apparently too far to build smuggling tunnels. Moving Rafah caused a lot of anger among the thousands of people living there. Although they received new homes and assistance in moving the Rafah population had their lives disrupted and were forced to accept new homes in high rise apartment buildings. Using the apartment buildings made it easier to check basements for any smuggling tunnel activity.

Another complaint was that many Rafah residents lost income from Hamas for having a tunnel exit in their home or business. But the ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) terror attacks in northern Sinai proved to be even more unpopular and the Rafah move proceeded without any major civil disorder. Hamas admitted that the loss of the smuggling tunnels was a major defeat for them, in part because Hamas had been getting over $200 million a month from fees and taxes it imposed on those operating the tunnels (to bring goods in and get people in and out). Now Gaza was no longer a safe sanctuary for ISIL or any other Islamic terrorists attacking Egyptian forces and killing lots of local civilians in the process.

The elimination of nearly all smuggling tunnels on the Egyptian/Gaza border demonstrated that Egypt was most definitely at war with Hamas, mainly because, despite many warnings, Hamas had allied itself with Iran, which had become the only major foreign aid donor Hamas had left and Iran was also eager to send weapons to Gaza as well. Despite this Egypt still acts as a mediator in continued efforts to form a common Palestinian government by merging Fatah (ruler of the West Bank) and Hamas. These negotiations have never succeeded, despite several signed agreements, because there are radical factions in Hamas that will never agree to Hamas losing sole control (to Fatah) of Gaza.

With most Western and Moslem aid donors no longer proving cash, Hamas is broke and the economy of Gaza fading fast because of the Egyptian/Israeli blockade (except for basics like food and medicine). Hamas has two options; make peace and lose control of Gaza or trigger another war with Israel which Hamas believes, like the last one in 2014, will lead to a lot of destroyed housing in Gaza and thousands of civilian casualties and cause an aid crisis that will compel foreign donors to resume sending large quantities of materials and cash, which Hamas can divert to its military needs. The only problem with this strategy is that the Israelis are well aware of it and made it clear they have some new ideas for how to handle another Hamas war. Israel is not disclosing how this would go but the more lucid Hamas leaders fear it means that Hamas will not benefit from the next war as much as they did from the last one.

Hamas continues staging a growing number of violent demonstrations along the Gaza border which attempt to get Hamas fighters into Israel. That has not worked out as planned and after a year of this two Israeli soldiers have been killed along with over 250 Palestinians. Hamas calls this lopsided casualty toll a war crime and many UN officials and Western politicians agree without presenting any viable alternatives for the tactics Israel is using to defend itself.

Source:Ocnus.net 2019

Top of Page

Defence & Arms
Latest Headlines
Rivalries in the EU Armament Industry
Fueled by espresso, US and Italian paratroopers take on mock enemy and bad coffee in exercise
Warplanes: JF17 Evolves For Pakistan
'Optionally manned' robotic gun is Army's latest step toward autonomous weapons
The Turkey-U.S. Dispute over Use of Russian S-400 System
Morale: Making Time For Sergeants
Russian Military Introduces New Automated Command-and-Control Systems
Winning: Honey Trap Wars
Russia’s Military Scientists and Future Warfare
US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China