Daily Archives: March 1, 2014

Egypt Tells Hamas it Will Hold Terror Group Accountable for Border Incidents

hamas-fighters

hamas-fighters

JNS.org – Egypt’s military told the Hamas that it would hold the Palestinian terror group responsible for any incidents along the Gaza border.

According to Israel Radio, Egyptian security officials have also told Hamas that they will not tolerate smuggling of weapons and goods.

On Friday, hundreds of Palestinians protested in front of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, demanding that the border reopen.

“We demand the Egyptian authorities open the Gaza crossing permanently in both directions and we affirm that we won’t stop our peaceful escalation on Palestinian land until the [Israeli] siege is lifted,” said Hamad El-Rakeb, a leading member of Hamas, Al-Ahram reported.

Since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Egypt’s military-backed government has severely cracked down on smuggling through the Gaza border. The military has waged a campaign against terror groups in the Sinai and has accused Hamas of supporting the Sinai jihadists.

Hamas had heavily relied on the smuggling tunnels not only for weapons, but also for goods and materials, which it taxed for revenue. According to Hamas, the closure of the tunnels by Egypt has cost the terror group around $230 million a month.

 

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CFR’s Gelb : U.S. administration has no idea ‘what is happening’ in Egypt | World Tribune

Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie Gelb

Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie Gelb

CAIRO — The U.S. military has been lobbying for a renewal of aid to Egypt.

The U.S. military as well as Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were pushing for an end to the suspension of major combat deliveries to Egypt.

Military and defense officials have warned that Egypt was more important than ever to Washington’s interests.

“My advice now is to support the Army in Egypt and the military establishment in order to help make up for the abuses the Muslim Brotherhood committed, on the one hand, and to move towards the political realism that Egypt needs on the other,” Council of Foreign Relations president Leslie
Gelb said.

The assertion was relayed as U.S. officers have been visiting Egypt. One delegation consisted of five U.S. special operations officers from Central Command, several of whom expressed confidence in the Egyptian military.

“There is confidence in the military establishment in Egypt,” an unidentified U.S. officer told Egypt’s official Al Ahram daily. “This is beyond question.”

Still, the officers acknowledged a drop in U.S. support as Egypt battled an Islamist revolt in the Sinai Peninsula. One officer was quoted as saying that Egypt required “political freedoms, not weapons.”

In late February, a delegation from the House Intelligence Committee visited Egypt to help restore relations with Washington. The committee contained several members, including the chairman, deemed supporters of Egypt.

“I do not have a polite way to express my opinion of what U.S. foreign policy-makers are doing in the region,” Gelb said. “They have no clear idea about what is happening there.”

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