Does Egypt need to do more to help Palestinians?

Watching the discussions taking place online about the breakthrough on the Egypt Gaza border, Egypt’s policy towards Palestinians is coming under ever closer scrutiny. When the fence is mended, should Egypt allow more goods and people to cross the border?

12 Responses to “Does Egypt need to do more to help Palestinians?”

  1. 1 rosatkins
    January 24, 2008 at 14:11

    What Egypt has done is human and a good thing to do. Though I was thinking of some more than like that . The “BERLIN AIR BRIDGE” after the WAR II ended could be a good solution. I can just imagine how many people have died so far because the way things have been done in Palestine. The world should more united than ever to fight catastrophes what happen in GAZA. I don’t believe that all Palestinians are radical and want to destroy Israel. What I see I is only the same old story Jewish against Palestinians time immemorial.

    Isaac Mulongo

  2. January 24, 2008 at 14:15

    egypt has signed [under juress to use only 750 troops to protect its border]
    if it hasnt got the numbers its because of us/israel parinoa
    us/israel made thier conditions , learn to live with trhe consequences of thier fears

    of course brother must help brother
    and while were at it its time to end the family feud of the children of abraham ,[they are related , arab /jew they are both legally semites] this family feud has gone on far too long

    bring down the walls ,who living was not given to live from god? resist this creating the last appartheid homeland ,im sick of the ongoing mind games ,they dont want to make peace

    that’s too easy gw busche gives them the soloman solution, make peace or jerusalem goes up in a cloud of radioactive dust
    [it seems both sides want the same baby] lets see who loves ‘the child’ more ,those who want to fight can go to jerusalem and try to catch the bomb

    together they just might catch on the world is sick of this endless game fought by selfish children
    wake up the par of you and grow up

  3. 3 steve
    January 24, 2008 at 14:25

    Maybe Egypt should have not occupied Gaza from 1948 to 1967 after it attacked Israel in 1948? There would have been a Palestinian state 60 years old now had they hadn’t, and had Jordan not attacked Israel and occupied the west bank for the same time period.

  4. 4 VictorK
    January 24, 2008 at 14:38

    This story is interesting for what it leaves out.

    I understand that explosives were used to breach the fence. The BBC report is careful not to mention this – presumably because it would give the impression that the Palestinians really are as violent and dangerous as the Israelis claim. And wouldn’t it be correct to draw the inference that up till now Egypt, like Israel, has also maintained a closed border with Gaza? Yet I seem only to have read accounts in the media of the cruel and brutal actions of the Israelis in blocking passage to and from Gaza, but not a single judgemental word till now about the Egyptians doing exactly the same (and why can’t they supply Gaza with energy, instead of the hated ‘Zionist entity’). It really does bring to mind those Israeli claims of media bias against them.

    I note that now that ‘militants’ (BBC-speak for Hamas terrorists) have destroyed the fence and placed the situation beyond the control of the Egyptian authorities – tens of thousands of Palestinians have flooded into their country – the Egyptians are now trying to claim some kind of credit for aiding their Palestinian brothers. I hope to see the same sceptical and aggressive journalism that is routinely dished out to the Israelis being served up to the spokesmen of the Egyptian government when they are interviewed about this volte face.

    As to the question: isn’t it up to Egypt to decide how much or how little it wants to do to aid the Palestinians? I’m tired of the Palestinians being treated as a nation of saintly Gandhis and Mother Teresas, who have an automatic right to the sympathy and help of the world. They’re nothing of the kind. They voted overwhelmingly for one of two terrorist factions: Hamas or Fatah. That tells us all we need to know about the Palestinians, and probably explains why the Egyptians have been wary about having very much to do with them.

    Far too much attention is given to the Palestine issue, which is pretty unimportant in its own right, and only gets the coverage it does because of the opportunities it affords to bash Israel.

  5. 5 Edmund
    January 24, 2008 at 15:46

    “why can’t they supply Gaza with energy, instead of the hated ‘Zionist entity’”

    VictorK, Israel claims control over the borders of Gaza and still lists Gaza as an Israeli territory. For Egypt to provide power to Gaza would be the equivalent of Cuba providing power to Puerto Rico.

  6. 6 Robert
    January 24, 2008 at 16:22

    A few points that are rarely mentioned, if at all.

    As one previous post pointed out, Egypt occupied Gaza from 1948 to 1967. However when Israel and Egypt signed their peace treaty in 1979, in which Egypt got back much of their land lost in the 1967 war, they didn’t push the issue to get Gaza back. Why not? Because Gaza was occupied by Palestinians, which Egypt didn’t want responsibility for.

    The Arab countries have not wanted to take responsibility for the Palestinians. Why are most Palestinians still living in refuge camps, not only in “occupied” territory, but Arab countries as well? Are the Palestinians being used as pawns in the battle to exercise “right of return” which would eliminate Israel as we now know it?

    Why did the Palestinians only resort to terror tactics once Israel “occupied” the territories? Why didn’t they use these tactics they are using today against Jordan in the West Bank and Egypt in Gaza? Why didn’t they attack the civilian populations of the same countries as the do in Israel?

    What historical president is there for a country to return land won in a war? Remember how many wars there were between Israel and multiple Arab countries. The 1967 war was started by Israel, but only because they had information that an attack was pending by Jordan, Egypt and Syria. If Israeli land was now occupied by any of those countries would there be similar demands for them to return captured territory?

    What should Egypt do? The should protect their border, as agreed to do by treaty. This not only includes rebuilding the wall (or similar) but also making sure that the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt are closed (and no more created.) Where do the Palestinians get the rockets they are firing at civilians in Israel. Not from the border with Israel. Not from the Mediterranean.

    What should Hammas do? They should recognize the right of Israel to exist, as the PLO has. They should join with Abu Mazen in talks to resolve the disagreements. Until then they share responsibility for the suffering in Gaza.

    Remember that Hammas holds an an Israeli soldier. Have they lived up to the Geneva Conventions? (Alright, they didn’t sign them but they want to be respected by the international community.) As of yet he has not been seen by the Red Cross, Red Crescent or similar group.

    Are the Palestinians pawns? Sadly, yes. Should they act as a state if they want to be treated as such? Yes. Are they (Hammas) doing so? No. Is there some blame for Israel for the current situation? Yes. Are they the only ones with such responsibility? No.

    San Diego

    Please don’t publish my e-mail address. I’m not comfortable providing my phone number here, but will respond to an e-mail if wanted (by BBC).

  7. 7 gary
    January 24, 2008 at 17:47

    Hello All,
    I congratulate the Nation of Egypt for allowing aid to reach these mistreated people. Of course, the primary responsibility for the welfare of the Palestinians living in Gaza lies with the nations that put them there, with Israel, and with the Palestinians themselves. This responsibility has clearly not been discharged. Israel’s security argument is correct as far as stated. All nations have a right to protect their own people. However, all nations must display due diligence in maintaining the health and welfare of innocent citizens under their control. Israel maintains almost complete control over the economic well-being of the Palestinians in Gaza, thus it bears the principle burden of their humanitarian maintenance. Some of the people of Gaza are guilty of direct action against Israel; many are guilty of simply voting for the leaders of these people. However; an incredible number of people in Gaza have not yet reached the age of majority! If any Israeli politician would state simply to the children of Gaza and to him or herself: “I’m going ruin your possibilities for happiness and prosperity on Earth. I will make it impossible for you to find a job and to reach your potential. If you’ve a disease that requires a maintenance drug, or if you get just a simple infection, I’ll let you die, and I will do all of these things because some of your relatives hate me.” Perhaps the idea that mistreating people always engenders hatred, which always engenders retaliation, which always engenders mistreating people, would dawn upon him or her, and the innocent might be spared, an the guilty might see their children prosper, and their anger might be mollified. The interactions between nations must always be seen as conversation between two individuals. Communication is a shared responsibility; failure so to do implies shared guilt. Someone must start talking first. This is the absolute responsibility of the person or nation with the larger share of power.

  8. 8 Paul
    January 24, 2008 at 17:55

    Yes! Common border issues can spill over. If your brother house is on fire, help him put it off or your house may be next. Egypt needs to assist with whatever necessary…

  9. January 24, 2008 at 17:59

    question: does egypt need to do more to help
    the palestinians?

    i think the egyptians should do
    what the government of israel
    has requested of them to do!

    i.e. increased security on the

  10. 10 Ahmad achakzai
    January 24, 2008 at 19:18

    I think the Egypt must help their brothers not only by giving the refuge to them (palestinians), but also to destroy the roots of the cause of their movement to Egypt. If Egypt (including other neighboring countries, and the international community as well) had helped the Palestinians resolve their problem with the brutal Israelis, now there would be no need for the movement of Palestinians to Egypt, and no need for Egypt to help Palestinians.

  11. 11 George
    January 24, 2008 at 22:50

    The airlift idea is hilarious-

    Why not just stop rocketing Israel?

    The people in Gaza are pawns of both Hamas and the countries financing Hamas.

    The financing Muslim countries want those people in Gaza to cry as loud as possible to undermine Israel, and would not take them because they do not care about them in the least beyond use for that purpose.

    Hamaz is totally dedicated to the objective of the financing Muslim countries to destroy Israel.

    Hamaz does everything possible to cause as much suffering in Gaza as possible, specifically to use the people who’s suffering they themselves cause rocketing Israel.

    Let’s face it, Egypt does not want to look bad in the middle east but absolutely does not want to be active in the use of Gaza by Hamas and their financiers to make war against Israel.

    Anyone who does not see Hamas and those financing Hamas is THE Enemy of the people in Gaza can be sold absolutely anything.

  12. 12 shirley
    January 25, 2008 at 18:42

    Ideally, Hamas would be responsible for Gaza, because it is the party that was voted into power by the Palestinians. However, the world has effectively removed power from Hamas in most parts of the West Bank and continues a very physical assault on Hamas in Gaza. The decision by the global community to undermine the voice of democracy in Palestine and to attempt to remove Hamas from power is a grand-mal violation of UN Security Council 242 (sovereign integrity of Palestine) by all involved. Therefore, it is we, the gobal community, who are now responsible for the welfare of Palestine.

    Handing parts of Palestine to neighbouring Arab nations is not a solution. They have been treated and named as a separate entity for several centuries – from the Roman occupation or earlier until the Ottoman Empire, after which it was recognised separately as Palestine under the British mandate. It is obvious by now that the people of Palestine have considered themselves as a separate entity for a very long time. Now that there are international laws in place with the intent of preserving Palestine’s sovereignty and integrity, that sovereignty and integrity should be respected, not sold to the highest – or nearest – bidder.

    I still maintain that we need to use international law in order to accomplish security in the Middle East. After all, it was the violation of international law by Israel that led to the current crisis in Gaza. Israel continues a daily assault on Palestine – both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Once this rogue state is reigned in, it should be entirely possible for peacekeeping forces to be employed in the Middle East so that security can be established and the foundations of a viable government be laid for Palestine. Once a viable government is in place in Palestine with the ability to control all aspects of the maintainance of a sovereign state, we should see much more control in the region.

    If we continue the path of support for Israeli violence – whether actively or by our silence, there will only be eternal violence in the Holy Lands of the Middle East.

    Steve claimed that Egypt attacked Israel in 1948. This is not true. Egypt did not attack Israel. It acted in conjunction with other Arab nations to defend Palestine.

    As a response to the passage of the UN Partition Plan on 29 November, the zionist group Haganah began drafting men 17-25 years old for military service. It was the next day that the Arab world began to organise its own collective army. The zionists launched the first attack on 21 December 1947, when Haganah and Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL) attacked the villages and Bedouin settlements of the coastal plain north of Tel Aviv. This particular attack lasted through March the next year. On 31 December 1947, Haganah and IZL paramilitary gangs killed more than 60 persons in Balad al-Shaykh (Haifa). Meanwhile, The arab Higher Committee was still organising 275 local committees to defend Palestine from the zionist offensive. That process was complete on 8 January 1948, when 330 allied Arab military personnel arrived in Palestine. Not until two days later did they make their first assault. This is a difference of 20 days bewteen the first zionist attack and the allied Arab response. The zionists attacked first, not the Arabs.

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