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Israel Relieves Suffering in Gaza, Egypt Intensifies It


In a better world, two news stories today would help straighten out the often crooked reporting on the Middle East: Israel has decided to lift a major ban on imports of building materials to the Gaza Strip; meanwhile Egypt is destroying the vast majority of Gaza’s smuggling tunnels (on which its economy depends) and is intensifying its blockade by allegedly creating a buffer zone.


Israel plans to allow building materials meant for private projects into the Gaza Strip for the first time in six years, an Israeli defense official said Tuesday. Gaza has been struggling with a shortage of building materials that has worsened since July, when the Egyptian military shut down many of the tunnels used to smuggle goods and weapons from Egypt into the Palestinian enclave.


“The Egyptian army has destroyed 95 percent of the tunnels with the aim of setting up a security buffer zone,” Sobhi Ridwan, head of the Palestinian municipality in the border town of Rafah, told AFP. […]

The tunnels’ destruction, which began after Egypt’s army in July ousted president Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Hamas ally, has already affected residents of Rafah. […]

“I don’t have even one shekel (25 cents, 20 eurocents) to spend on my children’s schooling. I think night and day trying to find a solution but I can’t. Death is better than this,” he told AFP.

We’re not holding our breath for the BBC and others to roll out the maps and discover that in fact Egypt also shares a border with Gaza that it likes to abuse and refuses to open. Nor are we calling for any “Israel Saves Palestinians from Arabs” headlines; Israel does not and should not get a free pass in reporting about Gaza. But the lack of  MSM enthusiasm for stories about the role neighboring Arab states play in Palestinian suffering is hard to understand given stories like these. It almost makes one suspect that something more than concern for the Palestinians’ suffering is at work.

[Map of Gaza Strip courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

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  • USNK2

    Another ViaMeadia post written by an intern.
    Gaza had the choice to become a prosperous state on the Med or to become a launching pad for missiles. Hamas chose missiles.
    Any suffering in Gaza is solely due to the Hamas-controlled government’s preference to engage in terror.
    Egypt’s military buried those tunnels because of weapons smuggling, and Hamas support for terrorists operating in the Sinai, where Egypt has been fighting a real counter-insurgency since clamping down on Hamas’ ally, the Muslim Brotherhood..
    We now know ViaMeadia interns have watched too much BBC for seven years, and not much before that, to explain such a simplistic post.

    • Corlyss

      “Any suffering in Gaza is solely due to the Hamas-controlled government’s preference to engage in terror.”

      Don’t stop there. You know those Hamas thugs are controlled by others, like Iran and Syria. Gaza is almost the poster child for puppet government. I suggest that no Gaza official seriously seeking peace with Israel would have lived out the day he announced such a policy.

    • Golum

      NOT solely due to ham-ass…due to ALL the leaders they have endured from are-a-rat on!!!
      How were they any better???
      None of them cared a whit for their people… only in enriching themselves!!!

      Where did arafat’s fortune disappear too???

  • Pete

    What’s new here?

    Arabs invariably bring suffering not only to the world in general but even to themselves.

  • CygnusA81

    Since this story doesn’t fit the media’s ‘narrative’ regarding the conflict, sadly this won’t make front page news in the Times or rest of the MSM in America, let alone Europe.

  • Corlyss

    “Egypt is destroying the vast majority of Gaza’s smuggling tunnels ”
    Good for them! They don’t want the trouble-makers any more than any other nation does. I was concerned that with the rise of the MB, they would consider it useful to continue doing what the Mubarak regime did, i.e., using the tunnels to supply weapons and rockets to the Gazans to harass Israel.

  • Fat_Man

    I will continue to push my plan for Gaza. Make it a haven for the Copts. Move the Muslims to mainland Egypt, and replace them with Copts who are being persecuted by Muslims in Egypt. The Copts will appreciate Israeli protection.

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