After crushing the Muslim Brotherhood at home, Egypt’s military rulers are going after Hamas in the Gaza Strip, senior Egyptian security officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Now they go about toppling Hamas, which took over in Gaza in 2007.
Last month, Egypt’s public prosecutor accused Hamas of conspiring with the Brotherhood and Iran to launch terrorist attacks in Egypt.
“We know Hamas is the Brotherhood and the Brotherhood are terrorists and no country could develop with terrorists in or around it,” the security official said.
Wait – is anybody writing this down? Someone should tell Bibi that the Egyptians have finished reading his book and are now busy applying his ideas. The good ones, before he turned his back on them.
Since rising to power in a military coup in the summer, the Egyptian junta has been laboring to undermine Gaza’s economy by destroying the bulk of the 1,200 tunnels used to smuggle food, cars and weapons. In that area, too, Egypt has been a lot more heavy handed than the IDF. Essentially, using a team of bulldozers, the Egyptian army, over a period of ten days or so, razed everything that stood up alongside the Gaza border up to where the Israeli border begins. They created a broad no man’s land over the caved in tunnels, making passage into their side a life threatening proposition.
Egypt’s Junta has cracked down hard on the Brotherhood, to the point where nowadays almost its entire leadership and thousands of its rank and file members are behind bars.
And so, today, while Egyptians continue to vote on the first day of polling in the constitution referendum – their junta’s first electoral test since Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July; and while as many as nine Egyptians have already been killed in local clashes, the new Pharaohs are setting their sights on another target.
“Gaza is next,” one senior security official told Reuters. “We cannot get liberated from the terrorism of the Brotherhood in Egypt without ending it in Gaza, which lies on our borders.”
It looks like Hamas will be facing growing resistance and street protests, much like those that took down two consecutive regimes in Egypt (until the junta got it right). The rulers of Cairo will be financing and supplying these protests, until Hamas cries uncle and takes a boat ride to Turkey.
Assuming they’ll still have friends up there by that time.
Egypt does view Hamas as an existential problem, seeing as the terrorist government has been supporting al Qaeda-inspired gangs that attack security forces in the Sinai peninsula. According to Reuters, those attacks have longs since crossed the Suez Canal and spread to Egypt’s large cities.
A Hamas official said the comments made to Reuters by Egyptian officials “showed Cairo was inciting violence and trying to provoke chaos.”
Yes, I admit, some news items are more fun to write than others. This one – top ten.
The Hamas forces are estimated at 40,000 soldiers, police and security forces. They rule over a population of 1.8 million people, if any of those numbers can be trusted.
“We know that Hamas is powerful and armed but we also know that there are other armed groups in Gaza that are not on good terms with Hamas and they could be used to face Hamas,” another Egyptian security source told Reuters. “All people want is to eat, drink and have a decent living, and if a government, armed or not, fails to provide that, then the people will rise against it in the end.”
And, naturally, the more people starve, the easier it will become to lure them out into the streets, at which point the Hamas thugs will crack down on them, cameras will snap, mayhem will erupt, until something will give.