Mubarak's biggest fear is that the Gaza Strip, which is entirely under the control of armed militias, could turn into a major base for global jihad and other terrorist groups.
Reports about al-Qaida terrorists who have infiltrated the Strip through the border with Egypt have left Mubarak and his top security officials extremely worried. These terrorists, who apparently work in cooperation with elements in Egypt's banned but powerful Muslim Brotherhood, are said to be very active among the Beduin population in Sinai.
Mubarak's merciless crackdown on al-Qaida cells in Sinai has forced some of the terrorists to flee to Gaza, where they have been welcome to use the training camps established on the ruins of some former settlements. The Egyptians fear that these terrorists will eventually return to Egypt to carry out attacks.
The absence of IDF troops along the Philadelphi Corridor, the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, has put Mubarak's regime at risk. The weapons smuggling industry that has flourished there in the aftermath of disengagement poses a serious threat, not only to Mubarak's regime but also to that of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Some PA security commanders are convinced the Egyptians are not doing enough to combat the smuggling. According to these commanders, the main reason for this is Mubarak's fear that the weapons, including tons of explosives, could end up in Cairo if they don't make their way to the Gaza Strip.
Notice the throwaway phrase "training camps established on the ruins of some former settlements."
The entire world never ceases to describe Israeli settlements as "obstacles to peace." Yet those horrendous Gaza settlements plus the Israeli investment in the industrial zone in Gaza gave thousands of Palestinian Arabs money and jobs.
Their being replaced by terrorist training camps is not the fodder of the thousands of pundits, politicians and reporters who could not bear the existence of Jews in Gaza. No one is coming forward and saying that perhaps the Palestinian Arabs' lives were better when the Jews were there. No one is describing the replacement of beautiful communities with grenades and rockets as a step backwards. There may be some tsk, tsking at what a shame it is that PalArabs can't get their act together but no one will admit that Israel's presence in Gaza was the golden age for average Palestinian Arabs there.
No, these know-it-alls learn nothing from the disintegration of Gaza and still insist that Israel must leave the West Bank as well.
For whose benefit? Certainly not for the average Arab there. Because Gaza today is what the West Bank will become if Israel leaves. Yet the only Arab voices that are being heard are the politicians and the terrorists. For a regular Arab who just wants to provide for his family to say otherwise makes him a "collaborator" subject to instant deadly "justice."
True peace can only come from a complete overhaul of Palestinian Arab society, from the corrupt and terrorist government through the inciteful media and the hate taught in schools, a complete change from the culture of death that celebrates mayhem and murder. The idea that Israeli concessions will bring peace while the society is so thoroughly screwed up is a joke.
But the West likes to solve problems quickly, and this penchant together with the virulent Jew-hatred endemic throughout Arab societies combine to create pressure on the only entity whose presence stabilizes the situation. This is, as can be seen in Gaza, a recipe for disaster, far worse than the "evil" of Jews living their lives in territories that Jews have held sacred for millenia.
Who in the West is willing to admit it?
UPDATE: See TCSDaily for a similar point.