Part of that “Arab Spring”.
After a four-year blockade, Egypt on Saturday permanently opened the Gaza Strip’s main gateway to the outside world, bringing long-awaited relief to the territory’s Palestinian population and a significant achievement for the area’s ruling Hamas militant group.
The reopening of the Rafah border crossing eases an Egyptian blockade that has prevented the vast majority of Gaza’s 1.5 million people from being able to travel abroad. The closure, along with an Israeli blockade of its borders with Gaza, has fueled an economic crisis in the densely populated territory.
But Saturday’s move also raises Israeli fears that militants will be able to move freely in and out of Gaza. Highlighting those fears, the Israeli army said militants from inside Gaza fired a mortar shell into an open field in southern Israel overnight. There were no injuries, and Israel did not respond.
Israel and Egypt imposed the blockade after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007. The closure, which also included tight Israeli restrictions at its cargo crossings with Gaza and a naval blockade, was meant to weaken Hamas, an Islamic militant group that opposes peace with Israel.
Since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February, Egypt’s new leadership has vowed to ease the blockade and improve relations with Hamas.
This allows another terrorist group to hook up with Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood to threaten Israel. There is one solution: Israel should use this opportunity to evict every single Arab muslim out of the Gaza strip and simply take the land as their own.