7 pm Israel time, Thursday, January 8 2015
66 Days Until The Election
***The snow storm that hit Israel in the last two days is being replaced by extreme cold. Approximately 5 inches of snow fell in the Jerusalem area, 20 inches in Tzfat, and nearly 3 feet accumulated in the Golan. Public transportation has returned to normal though some roads in the Negev are still closed due to floods.
***Most people in Israel took a “snow day” today, but Palestinian terrorists did not. Israeli paramedics were attacked with “rocks” near Gush Etzion. Other Israeli “rescue” vehicles were hit near Al Khader.
***Security staff in the Israel Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay discovered and detonated an explosive device today that was placed near the Embassy in a grocery bag. The bomb was discovered by police dogs during a daily security sweep of the area. This incident comes one month after the Israel Embassy in Greece was fired on by as yet unidentified terrorists.
Regular readers of israelstreet know that we often refer to events at the Rafah Crossing–the only crossing that connects Gaza with Egypt.
What you may not be aware of is that the city of Rafah was divided back at the time of the Camp David Accords into a “Gazan Rafah” and an “Egyptian Rafah”. According to the Egyptian government, the Egyptian Rafah is composed of 14 districts and 11 suburbs that are home to about 75,000 residents.
The residents are primarily Bedouins and Egyptians.
As you know, since the conclusion of the war with Hamas this summer, the Egyptian government has been doing everything within its power to disconnect itself from Gaza. The Rafah Crossing has been virtually closed; the Egyptian Army has been blowing up Hamas tunnels into Egypt almost everyday; and the Egyptian Navy is doing its best to stop smuggling via boats from Gaza into the northern Sinai and vice versa.
More than this, the Egyptian government has already razed all homes in Egyptian Rafah within 500 meters of the border in order to create a buffer zone, and announced this week that it is now going to extend that buffer zone to 1000 meters. To accomplish this, another 1200 homes are being demolished.
Yesterday, the Egyptian government via its governor of the northern Sinai, General Abdel Fattah, declared its attention to completely raze Egyptian Rafah.
Every home in the city will be destroyed. Each displaced family will receive $210 to rent a house somewhere else such in El Arish. Eventually, according to Gen. Fattah, the Egyptians intend to build a “new Rafah” on the other side of the new buffer zone.
When “eventually” is, nobody knows–but no one is holding his or her breath. The likelihood that Egypt will not reconstruct Rafah until it feels that the threat to Egypt is removed–and that won’t be any time soon.
As we have noted in previous israelstreet blogs, when Israel created its own buffer zone on the Israel side of the border in past years, the world howled in protest about “crimes” and egregious “discrimination”; now, hypocritically, no one is saying a word when Egypt does exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason.
One final point: the supreme irony is that as Egypt attempts to disconnect from the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, Israel is doing everything to reconnect with Hamas.
Something is rotten in Jerusalem.