Egypt announced Thursday it would open the Rafah border crossing to Gaza allowing for the Muslim Brotherhood to travel freely. The announcement highlighted the Obama
attempt to betray Israel and the statesmanship and strength of Prim Minister Netanyahu. The Muslim Brotherhood’s top holy man (and Egypt’s new leader in fact) Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi declared his desire to see a “conquered” Jerusalem in a January 24, 2011, fatwa. In it he negated Jewish attachment to Jerusalem and stated that it is the duty of Muslims to “defend” Jerusalem with “their lives, their money and all they possess, or else they will be subject to Allah’s punishment.”
Here is the report From the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It is slanted against Israel, as they always are:
CAIRO – Egypt will permanently open its border crossing with the Gaza Strip this weekend, the government announced on Wednesday, suggesting that military leaders are being swayed by growing sentiment in favor of distancing the country from Israel.
Opening the Rafah crossing, the only official entry point outside Israel into the Palestinian territory, would ease the blockade imposed after the militant group Hamas took control of the Strip in 2007.
A report by Egypt’s state-run Middle East News Agency said the move was being adopted to “end the status of the Palestinian division and achieve national reconciliation.”
Israel warned that fully reopening the crossing could allow Hamas to build up its arsenal and create a dangerous situation.
Bowing to Israeli concerns and worried about a spillover of Islamic militant activity into Egypt, the Egyptian government has kept the Rafah crossing closed or partially closed in the years since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip. Until last year, Egypt had opened the crossing periodically for a few days at a time every several weeks for a limited number of people, mostly medical cases and students.
In the past year, however, the crossing has been opened for limited passage since a deadly Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid flotilla to Gaza in May 2010 drew attention to the Israeli and Egyptian border closures.
Since the Egyptian revolution that ousted President Hosni
Mubarak in February, no more than 300 Palestinians a day were allowed to leave Gaza. Now, that limit will be lifted and other restrictions will be eased, officials said.
Ghazi Hamad, the deputy foreign minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, said in a telephone interview that Egypt linked opening the border to the recent reconciliation pact between Hamas and Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian faction that administers the West Bank.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Elaraby announced a day after the reconciliation deal last month that his country would soon take steps to “ease the blockade on Gaza,” describing his country’s involvement in it as “shameful.”
Hamad said on Wednesday: “The reconciliation agreement encouraged the Egyptians to take more positive steps. They told us before that if there is a reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah, the situation at the crossing will completely change.”
Israel keeps its crossings to Gaza mostly closed to passage of Palestinians, except for a limited number of people with permits for medical treatment at Israeli hospitals or for business purposes.
Egypt’s interim military leaders have been under pressure to open the border to ease the movement of people, food and humanitarian aid to the strip.
Israel opposes an open border, fearing that Hamas fighters could use it to smuggle in weapons for attacks against Israel. Up to now, Hamas has used smuggling tunnels, rather than the border crossing, to bring weapons into Gaza.
In Israel, a government official said: “Israel has no problem with civilian goods getting into the Gaza Strip. Our focus is on preventing Hamas from building up its very deadly terrorist military machine. In the past, they have succeeded in building a formidable capability despite Egyptian efforts to prevent that from happening.”
The official warned that if Egypt ceased those efforts, “the situation would be so much more dangerous.”