Skip to comments.Israel may build canal to separate Gaza from Egypt
Posted on 05/16/2004 1:13:43 PM PDT by ChicagoHebrew
alestinian sources report large IDF forces in the southern Gaza Strip ahead of expected operations to widen the Philadelphia corridor.
Meanwhile, some 3000 Palestinians fled their homes in Rafah on Sunday following the High Court of Justice's turning down of a petition filed by 13 Palestinian residents against the IDF's decision to demolish houses adjacent to the Phildelphia Route in Rafah, Ynet reported.
The IDF revealed plans Sunday to create a 60 meter wide underground canal, 20 meters deep that is aimed at preventing the forging of arms-smuggling tunnels from the Egyptian side of Rafah to the Palestinian side. This is one option to widening the Philadelphia Corridor, reported Channel 2 news Sunday.
The army is considering flooding the canal once it is built.
Aother option being examined is widening the Philadelphia corridor, requiring the destruction of more houses. The third option is erecting a fence that will prevent Palestinians shooting at IDF soldiers.
The IDF revealed plans Sunday to create a 60 meter wide underground canal, 20 meters deep that is aimed at preventing the forging of arms-smuggling tunnels from the Egyptian side of Rafah to the Palestinian side. This is one option to widening the Philadelphia Corridor, reported channel 2 news Sunday.
Against a background of pledges by the defense establishment that operations in Gaza were to be bolstered, the High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected a petition by Palestinians to ban the demolition of homes in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza Strip.
Rejecting Palestinian claims quoted on Associated Press that the IDF had destroyed nearly 90 houses, leaving over 1000 people homeless, army officials claim that only 40 houses had been destroyed, and these had been used as cover by Palestinian gunmen to attack soldiers.
Court rejects petition against demolition of houses in Rafah
The High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected two petitions protesting the demolition of houses by the army in Rafah after accepting the state's argument that the IDF is not conducting a planned mass destruction of houses but demolishes some homes as a result of military operations.
The petitions were submitted by 22 residents who said they lived in Block O on the Palestinian side of Rafah, where heavy fighting occurred on Friday after five Israeli soldiers were killed on the Philadelphi road, separating Egyptian Rafah from the Gaza Strip.
In the morning hearing, the state's representative, Aner Hellman, told the court that the army was bound by its pledge to grant a hearing to the occupants of houses it intended to demolish unless urgent circumstances make this impossible. The pledges were given in two court hearings this year on the basis of a High Court ruling handed down two years earlier.
According to the army's pledge, "if the state decides to destroy any more buildings, it will act in accordance with the judicial law handed down by the High Court of Justice regarding the right of the owners of the houses to receive a hearing [before the demolition.] The right to a hearing will apply in all cases that do not involve one of the following three exceptions: immediate operational requirements, a threat to the lives of soldiers or if the delay is likely to thwart a military operation."
Hellman added, however, that when it comes to Rafah the pledge is largely theoretical because in virtually every case, the houses are demolished as a direct result of the fighting in the area.
Deputy Supreme Court President Eliahu Mazza and Justices Dorit Beinisch and Eliezer Rivlin, who heard both petitions, took note of the fact that Aner "told us that the demolition of houses conducted by the IDF during the fighting that took place along Philadelphi road was not a deterrent act. He said it s was a measure taken as a result of immediate military needs that were required to protect soldiers operating in the area."
The court also accepted the state's information that the fighting had ended late Friday night, and therefore the petition was no longer relevant.
Hellman told The Jerusalem Post that the petitions had nothing to do with the reports that the army intends to widen the Philadelphi road by destroying homes adjacent to it, but related solely to the fighting that took place on Friday.
Israel pledges to escalate military activity in Gaza
Following a week that left 13 soldiers dead in fierce fighting with Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Israel on Sunday vowed to escalate military activity in the Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz promised a "different reality" along the Gaza-Egypt border.
"We started continuous air strikes. We will deepen the fighting," Mofaz said, according to participants in the meeting. Officials said the Palestinians have been trying to smuggle long-range Katyusha rockets and Strella anti-aircraft missiles into Gaza. Mofaz said the Katyushas - with a range of about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) - would "upset the military balance" in Gaza.
Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, told Cabinet ministers Sunday that Palestinian houses in Rafah used in attacks against IDF troops had been marked for destruction if violence continues. "We are talking about demolishing hundreds of homes," he said, according to participants in the meeting. Israel says Palestinian gunmen use the homes for cover.
Also Sunday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told the cabinet that Israel has asked Egypt for assistance in halting weapons-smuggling by Palestinians across the border into Gaza.
Sharon told the ministers that he had been in touch with Egyptian officials over the past week. He also said he had asked the United States for help.
Sharon said the talks with Egypt are meant at modifying Israel's historic Camp David peace agreement, which limited the amount of troops Egypt could maintain along the border with Gaza. He said the changes would allow Egypt to bring larger numbers of troops to the border area to halt the smuggling. "The fighting on the Philidelphia axis is centered on hurting the main oxygen pipe of the terror," he said. "We will not allow this terror to threaten the country following a withdrawal from the Gaza Strip."
Use a fraction of the money to pay off the some of the settlers.
They would have to weigh it against the rental cost for a line of bulldozers the width of Gaza and the ever-rising gasoline cost.
Even if they removed the settlers from Gaza (which I support), it wouldn't solve the problem being talked about -- the use of the Egyptian border to smuggle weapons into Gaza. If Israel left the border unchecked, Hamas could and would smuggle in heavy arms such as missles that it would use to attack Israel proper. The settlers are irrelevant to the question of controlling the so-called "Philadelphia Corridor" (why it has that name I have no idea).
Under the circumstances, moats and walls are a good idea. 7th century tactics to defeat 7th century barbarians. If that doesn't work, one can always hope for locusts or a plague.
Pinging you and the pro-Israel list.
It will work even better if they build the canal and then relocate the squatters on the Egyptian side. That way the Egyptians and Hamas have no one to smuggle to.
The Israelis could call it the "Manichevitz Line".
Where is the water coming from? The sea? That'll be expensive; pumping up all that water. Should be some great rafting if they build in some rapids. :)
save yer kesef, you already got a fence around gaza, evac those 3000 bums from the settlements and no more gaza in the news.
Until Katyusha rockets start flying from Gaza into Tel-Aviv. Israel would hang on to the Philadelphia route even under Sharon's disengagement plan -- to prevent Hamas from using the Egyptian border to smuggle heavy weapons into Gaza. The Philadelphia route ain't about the settlements.
Need more be said?
Yeah, I'd assume the sea.
Awesome. The Arabs could not dig anything 60 feet deep in the future without using bigtime equipment, thus making covert efforts all but impossible.
But I agree the money should be given instead to the ejected settlers, who are just about the only real Jews having babies and countering the mass-breeding of Arab terrorists. Perhaps Israel could just bury 10,000 hams with landmines attached, so that anyone being killed by them would be denied a place in Allah's virgin-rape "paradise".
How about just putting 1,000 scarecrows resembling Rachel Corrie. That ought to deter them.
Well, flood it with fresh water, and you could call it an aquaduct. I guess sea water would make it a seaquaduct.
Perhaps the Almighty could divide Gaza from Egypt and see fit to have the waters drown any marauding palesites.
That would mean that these 90 houses would have each held at least 10-11 people? Come on now, the Arabs lie so much that it cannot even be within the realms of common sense.
that's what I thought they should do - build a giant moat that would flood any smuggling tunnel. Fill it with crocodiles for good measure.
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