Well, actually Egypt did not fully open the Rafah Crossing for just anybody and time will tell how permanently it stays open. Once before Egypt opened the crossing which did not last a full week before troops were called to herd the Gaza residents back into Gaza after they started stealing from vendors and stores, using counterfeit money, rioting and causing general mayhem. This time that possibility has been addressed by limiting free and open access to women and also men under 18 and over 40, while requiring men between those ages to attain an Egyptian Visa in order to enter Egypt. The Egyptians also have made a “no entry list” of people they will refuse to allow out of Gaza limiting the opportunity for trouble to even start. Still, we will see how long this lasts and whether there will be a general rush at the crossing in an attempt to fully open access for all equally as happened last time.
The Egyptians have also placed two medical screening stations at the Rafah Crossing. One station will be screening for contagious diseases to prevent people with such from entering Egypt. The other station will be screening people requesting medical treatments which will be transferred to Israeli authorities to arrange treatment in Israel. Apparently, Egypt will not be offering to treat anybody from Gaza for illnesses or other medical conditions leaving the burden of responsibility on Israel. Egypt has taken this step in violation of agreements signed under the Mubarak government with both Israel and the European Union which was supposed to supply monitors whenever the Egyptian crossing was opened. Apparently, the caretaker government was serious when they proclaimed that Israel, and we can assume others, had a treaty with the Mubarak government and not with the people of Egypt.
The other situation that will need to be observed in greater detail than who is leaving Gaza is who and what is entering Gaza. It will probably only be a matter of time before weapons, ammunitions, rockets, PRG’s, and possibly heavy weapons begin to be imported by Hamas. Should such items be allowed to freely flow into Gaza, Egypt will have cast its fate and have guaranteed hostile relations with Israel and join the terror sponsoring states as Iran and Syria. Such a move should not surprise anybody but I suspect that much of the world will turn a blind eye to such actions and continue relations and trade with Egypt like little has changed. After all, this is the Arab Spring so many have so much invested. They will have to ignore the actions in support of Hamas and their terror war upon Israel; otherwise they would have to admit it is not Spring but rather an Arab Winter that had broken out in Egypt.
The final subject that will pose the largest question is how long will Hamas be allowed to import freely through the Sinai Peninsula before Israel is forced to take actions to defend against the arming of Hamas possibly with long range missiles and heavy weapons? Furthermore, will the United Nations, European Union, Russia, China and the United States allow Hamas to import whatever is on their shopping list? Will the same denounce Israel when she is forced to act to prevent a possible tragedy on her border with Gaza? How will the nations, NGO’s, United Nations, nations and international institutions react should Hamas release another massive rocket, mortar and missile attack on Israel causing loss of life and property? Will Israel get the normal demands to stay calm and simply absorb the strike? What happens when Israel decides not to stay calm and absorb the murder and injuring of her civilians and the damage of her property and infrastructure? The only end to this move of opening the Rafah Crossing by Egypt will be a very nasty and dangerous end.
Beyond the Cusp