(Jordon Times) --
The situation at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is becoming dangerous.
Yesterday, an Egyptian border guard was killed by what officials say was sniper fire from the Palestinian side.
The shooting reportedly came after Egyptian guards opened fire at Palestinian demonstrators protesting the delay of an aid convoy, which is being held up in Egypt. The aid convoy follows another multinational popular effort to break the siege on Gaza, which was refused permission to travel to Gaza by the Egyptian authorities.
It is clear that Cairo has a major problem on its hands. Gaza’s 1.5 million people are increasingly desperate to break their isolation. As Israel’s brutal onslaught last year proved, the Israeli army is ruthless and has no qualms about gunning down innocent men, women andchildren. Salvation for Gazans will not lie that way. Egypt is the only other outlet.
However, opening the border is hugely problematic, and not only for Egypt. Gaza remains occupied territory. Israel controls the borders as well as the air and sea space. Opening one side of Gaza, and then only a land border, questionably leaves the status of Gaza open for discussion. This would have major ramifications for the status and wholeness of the Palestinian territories.
There is an argument that Gaza could be called liberated territory. But there is not yet international consensus on recognising any sovereign Palestinian state, so it is not clear what that would mean. And since Israel continues to violate the borders, sea and airspace of Gaza, clearly that country does not consider Gaza anything other than under its control; to do with as it pleases.
Clearly, Egypt does not want to resume any responsible role for Gaza, which is what would happen if the status of Gaza is not resolved before the border is opened. But in order to do this, Arab countries need to push for an international effort to determine such status and, most importantly, Palestinians need to agree for themselves what status they want to confer upon Gaza. Palestinian unity is not just a Palestinian priority: it is a regional one...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
The Palestinians are in a situation not unlike Jewry was until it got its state: a fly in the ointment. Much of the Western world looks at the map of Israel with the West Bank jutting into its territory and says "just give it to the Jews." What they don't understand is that it is Israel that is jutting into Palestinian territory, and what they should be saying is "just give the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinians, declare their state and be done with it."
Israel has one of the three or four most powerful armies in the world, and is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons to boot, so barring World War III, the Jewish state isn't going anywhere anytime soon. But Zionism covets the West Bank, and has regional super-power ambitions, and more. It wants to get rid of the Palestinians like a wart on it's nose, like Hitler wanted to get rid of the Jews.
Too damn bad. The time is right for the Palestinians to get their state, and for the world to tell the Zionists, Neocons and Neoliberals to grin and bear it, because its becoming increasingly evident that the smoldering, explosive alternative could end in WWIII -- which may, in fact, be exactly what the Zionist ideologues have in mind.