re Of Course Egypt is to blame - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • ronit
    • 18.09.05 | 10:14 (IDT)

    Zvi Bar'el States: ""The question now is how to deal with the sandwich state created between Israel and Egypt, when all the potential components of the explosion have yet to be neutralized: the highest population density in the world, terrible poverty, a huge collection of arms and a radical leadership that plans to continue an armed struggle."" If the Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza, Israel will be free to mount a military response - more free, in fact, when the threat comes from a sovereign Palestinian state than when it emanates from Israeli-occupied territory. The Palestinians will no doubt stockpile heavy weapons in Gaza as Debka reports 1. 3,000 automatic rifles. The new supply, most of which is destined for Hamas, gives the organization a total of 10,000 Kalashnikovs, enough for thousands of new recruits. 2. Hundreds of AT-23 Sagger anti-tank missiles. 3. SAM-14 Strela anti-air missiles ? quantity unknown. 4. Improved Qassam surface missiles. Their range is 13km or 18km, depending on whether Israeli or Egyptian intelligence evaluations are accepted. The shorter-range can reach Ashkelon, the longer one can menace the southern suburbs of the Ashdod port town, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gath, Kiryat Malachi (where the Israeli President?s private home is located), Ofakim, Netivot and prime minister Ariel Sharon?s Sycamore Ranch. 5. Land mines of different types ? quantity unknown. 6. More than 250 tons of explosives. In addition, an estimated 500-700 armed and highly-trained men have infiltrated Gaza through Sinai to boost the ranks of the Hamas and Jihad Islami. They are believed to include Palestinian terrorists from Lebanon, as well as al Qaeda operatives and fugitives who have been on the run from Egyptian security since the Taba and Sharm al Sheikh bombing attacks But, as is the case with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, they can be deterred from using them. The real danger from Gaza may not be to Israel but to the rest of the West. The Israeli army has battled terrorist groups in a way that the Palestinian Authority has neither the power nor, in all likelihood, the desire to do. If, following the Israeli pullout, Gaza becomes another training ground for Islamo-fascist fanatics - a successor to Afghanistan under the Taliban - the resulting terrorists will find the U.S. and Europe much easier targets than Israel, which is the world's most heavily defended state. Irony of ironies, perhaps in a few years enlightened Westerners will rue the day when Israel gave up control of Gaza.

    from the article: Of course, Egypt is to blame
    First published 00:00 18.09.05 | Last updated 00:00 18.09.05
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