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Sunday, November 18, 2012
Reality Check: Can a third party really be relied upon to stop Hamas from rearming?

Reality Check: Can a third party really be relied upon to stop Hamas from
rearming?

Dr. Aaron Lerner Date: 18 November 2012

A necessary condition for a significantly successful conclusion of Operation
Pillar of Defense is that the forces in Gaza are not able to replenish their
weapons stores with even more deadly equipment and the conflict spirals up
to an even more deadly challenge as Hamas and their Iranian advisors learn
from the current round.

Can guarantees from Egypt and/or other third parties suffice?

Let's consider for a moment the record:

Egypt never really engaged in effective operations against the smuggling
tunnels.

That's not to say that there weren't a lot of photo ops.

Egyptian contractors made a fortune inserting many millions of dollars of
steel plate into the ground. The barrier was either bypassed by tunneling
below it or it was cut through with relative ease by tunnel teams
underground.

The massive flow of weapons reached the openings of the tunnels despite
claims of roadblocks etc. This either because the security forces
responsible for stopping the material were being bribed or because Egypt
really didn't want to stop the flow in the first place.

And, if we want to really engage in a "reality check": Israeli authorities
mostly opted to ignore the situation.

Israeli officials did this for several reasons:

#1. Not to anger the Americans out of consideration of the circumstances at
that particular moment.

#2. Not to anger the Egyptians out of consideration of the circumstances at
that particular moment (keep in mind that the Egyptian response when we
officially criticized them for failing to act was frequently to threaten a
diplomatic crisis).

#3. The hope that if Israel did not criticize Egypt that maybe they would
ultimately do the job.

#4. Not to expose Israeli officials to pressure from the Israeli public to
do something about it.

When one considers the situation today with Egypt, it is reasonable to
assume that in the absence of some spectacularly dramatically different
arrangement to halt the flow of weapons from Egyptian Sinai to Gaza, that
any Egyptian guarantees - even ones solemnly backed by the United States
will have the same fate as all the previous anti-smuggling efforts.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra@netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il

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