Skip to comments.Egypt proposes water barrier and kilometer wide sterile zone in Philadelphi Corridor
Posted on 02/23/2007 4:59:31 AM PST by SJackson
Yediot Ahronot: Egypt proposes water barrier and kilometer wide sterile zone in Philadelphi Corridor
Dr. Aaron Lerner 23 February 2007
Yediot Ahronot correspondent Alex Fishman reported in the 21 February edition that Egypt proposed to Israel to dig a deep trench on the Philadelphi Corridor to be flooded with water from the Mediterranean in order to prevent smuggling from Sinai into the Gaza Strip. According to Fishman, the Egyptians raised the proposal during meetings with IDF officials and U.S. General Dayton along with a proposal to create a sterile cleared kilometer wide band on the Egyptian side of the Philadelphi Corridor.
The Egyptians asked for American funding both for the work and for compensation for the Rafah residents who would have to be relocated from the area near the Philadelphi Corridor.
Fishman reported that the ideas have been under discussion for a number of months.
Israeli security officials expressed doubts to Fishman that the Egyptians would really carry out the work if they received the funding from the U.S.
The independent (European government funded) Palestinian news agency, Ma'an, reported (see below) that Egyptian security sources deny the water barrier story but the Ma'an item does not mention any Egyptian response regarding the reported proposal to create a sterile zone. IMRA has contacted Ma'an asking for a clarification.
----- Egypt reject reports of a deep water canal along Gaza-Egypt border Date: 21 / 02 / 2007 Time: 21:30 www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=19758
Gaza - Ma'an - High ranking Egyptian security sources have rejected reports, published on Tuesday in Israeli newspapers, that Egypt had suggested digging a deep water canal along the Philadelphia corridor, which borders Egypt and the Gaza Strip, aimed at preventing the smuggling of arms into the Gaza Strip.
The same sources told Ma'an that the canal was "an old idea which the Israelis suggested to the Egyptians and the Palestinians, but both parties absolutely rejected it". Scientists at that time stated that the canal would harm the environment, ruining a large area of agricultural lands on both sides of the border. The scientists also said that the water from the Mediterranean would raise the level of salt in the soil, further damaging chances of agriculture.
Well, OK, but I don't see how that's going to keep all the riffraff across the river in Camden.