Monday, February 18, 2008

Hamas fires at Egyptian builders to prevent new wall

Hamas fired shots over the heads of Egyptian workers building a new wall on the border between Egypt and Gaza Tuesday night, sources in the area told Daily News Egypt.
Egypt has commissioned a new wall to be built of concrete in place of the existing barb wire wall to prevent more breaches like the one that occurred last month. North Sinai Tagammu party member Hussein El Qayem said that the new concrete barrier is being built to withstand explosives that were used to create the openings which allowed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to descend on the Egyptian side of Rafah.
No injuries occurred Tuesday night as Hamas fired over the workers’ heads, causing them to flee El Qayem said. “Sources in Gaza say that Hamas will fire at anyone attempting to build the wall unless the Rafah border crossing is reopened,” he said. Hamas has already begun dismantling the iron barrier that blocks off Gaza.
There are two separate barriers between the border with a road running through them, one manned by the Egyptians and the other by the Palestinians. Events on the border have seen Israel contemplate re-occupation of the Gaza strip, ruled by Hamas since June and there are some voices calling for complete annihilation of the group. “We need to topple the Hamas regime. We need to liquidate its leaders without any artificial differentiation between those who wear explosive vests and those who wear diplomatic vests,” said Tsachi Hanegbi, chairman of the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The situation on the border remains potentially explosive as the parties involved insist on their own vision concerning its future. Violent breaches of the border wall last month had allowed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to enter the Egyptian side of Rafah after a total Israeli blockade had crippled Gaza.
The fallout of these events continue as Egyptian security forces search for Palestinians who have remained on the Egyptian side even after the breaches had been sealed up and the Rafah border crossing was closed. Egypt is advocating an agreement for the Rafah border crossing which will see it supervised by the Palestinian Authority. Additionally Egypt wants to increase its troop deployment along the border, limited by an armistice agreement in 1979. The US and Egypt are trying to convince Israel to accept the two proposals but so far there hasn’t been a favourable response from Tel Aviv. (DailyNewsEgypt)


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