Thursday, September 20, 2007

Why is Rafah closed? Hint: It isn't because of Israel

Jeremy Bowen of the BBC has written another slanted piece about how Israel has turned Gaza into a giant prison, although he threw in a short reference to Sderot to keep his pretense at being impartial.

What he doesn't mention (along with the rest of the MSM) is that the Rafah border crossing into Egypt is not closed because of Israel, but because of Hamas.

When Hamas won the Palestinian Arab elections in January 2006, the EU stopped its supervision of Rafah as per the November 2005 agreement because that agreement was that the EU would only work with Fatah, not Hamas. In April 2006, a new agreement was hammered out where the Rafah crossings came under the responsibility of Mahmoud Abbas, not Hamas, and they re-opened until Gilad Shalit's kidnapping.

Now, with Hamas in control of Gaza, the EUBAM/Rafah team cannot legally reopen Rafah and it has remained closed since June 9th, when Hamas took over. The EUBAM is still there waiting for a change in the situation, but as long as Hamas is in control, they cannot do anything. And the thousands of Palestinian Arabs stranded on the Egyptian side of Rafah were stuck there because of Hamas - the only way to resolves the situation was for Egypt and Israel to go around Hamas and use a border crossing that Hamas could not control.

But blaming Hamas for Gaza's troubles is too close to the Zionist way of thinking, and the BBC cannot bear to be accused of that heinous crime. Much easier, and lazier, to call Gaza a big Israeli "prison."