The lack of control demonstrated by Egyptian forces on Philadelphi Road continued yesterday:
Despite official promises that they had closed all the crossings between the two parts of Rafah, yesterday again Palestinians from the Gaza Strip continued to cross and the flow between Sinai and Palestinian Rafah did not stop.
The spokesman for Palestinian National Security Service, Adnan Barbach, promised that all the breaches on the border were blocked. He also said that more than 2,000 of his security forces were deployed along the road.
The Hatzofe military correspondent noted that yesterday the Egyptians and Palestinians discussed the security of the crossings, but for every place that was closed, the Palestinians opened three more. Yesterday Hamas even went further and said that within a short time there will be no wall between the two parts of Rafah.
Over the last week, since responsibility was transferred to the Egyptians, Palestinians, and probably the terror organizations as well, managed to smuggle hundreds of tons of equipments from Sinai to Rafah.
It is not unthinkable that all the equipment that had been waiting on the Egyptian side, was transferred in the middle of the night into the Gaza Strip.
“In recent days, weapons were also smuggled via the border in Rafah,” confirmed the Commander of the National Security Service in the southern Gaza Strip, Col. Jamal Kaid, yesterday, in a report published in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, which is published in East Jerusalem.
Kaid said, that in addition to weapons, drugs and food were smuggled. “This situation,” added the Palestinian officer, “is a real danger and could cause matters to go out of control.”
Col. Kaid said that the Palestinian security forces would take control of the border area within 48 to 72 hours. [.]
Another senior Palestinian official, quoted anonymously in Al-Quds, said that those with Gazan ID cards would be able to cross immediately, while those without papers, such as refugees and uprooted people, will be able to cross after an arrangement is made. Reports from the field indicate that Egyptian security forces have begun to strictly examine the ID cards of those crossing before giving them permission to cross at the Salah-a-Din opening, the last breach remaining open. [.]
The quantity of automatic weapons in the hands of the terror organizations was evident yesterday during the Hamas rally, the largest held in recent years: thousands of masked men held up their weapons, which included automatic weapons, anti-tank weapons and Kassam rockets, at the rally held to strengthen the terror organization’s status prior to Palestinian Authority elections. Tens of thousands of Palestinians cheered them and swore that the liberation of the rest of the “occupied territories” was already on the way.
Meanwhile, yesterday Palestinian officials responded angrily to Israeli plans to set up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip. The Palestinians are concerned that the security zone will be inside the Gaza Strip, despite the fact that the Israeli proposal speaks of a security zone in Israeli territory.
The decision by the Israeli government to set up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip, which will be about 70 kilometers long and 150 meters wide at least, aroused angry responses among landowners and Palestinian organizations… Up to now Israel has not taken any steps to take over the land meant for the security zone and nothing has been done except to put up a cement wall along the border.
Hamas Iz a Din al-Kassam Brigades threatened to begin a war to the death against Israeli soldiers if they try to take land. Islamic Jihad Brigades warned Israel about stealing Palestinian land. One Islamic Jihad leader, Khaled al-Batash, told an Al-Ayyam correspondent that Islamic Jihad sees the plan to set up a security zone in the northern Gaza Strip as a new assault on “Palestinian lands just liberated from Israeli occupation”…