Cruel siege on Gaza by neighboring state: Tunnels, flooded with raw sewage, now to be destroyed

The smuggling tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt are a security threat and must be destroyed, a Jerusalem Cairo court ruled on Tuesday, responding to a petition brought by a group of activists in the wake of rocket firing and cross border attacks on Israel a cross-border attack, by jihadist elements who infiltrated from Gaza through the tunnelsthat killed 16 Egyptian border guards in August.

A Palestinian smuggler moves refrigerators through a tunnel from Egypt to the Gaza Strip under the border in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: AP)

A Palestinian smuggler moves refrigerators through a tunnel from Egypt into Gaza under the border in Rafah. (Photo: AP)

The Israeli Egyptian court ruling makes it obligatory that the government destroy the tunnels, according to Reuters.

Israel Egypt cannot tolerate a porous border that will continue to destabilize the Sinai Peninsula, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s national security adviser reportedly said.

Gaza, home to roughly 1.7 million people, has lived with border restrictions since Hamas’s violent takeover of the territory in 2007. Smuggling under the 15-kilometer border has circumvented official crossings and bypassed restrictions for many years.

Restrictions on the influx of goods into the territory has prompted Palestinians in Gaza to smuggle in luxury goods, weapons and cash through the illegal tunnels. Hamas officials are known to collect fees from tunnel operators.

An estimated 30% of goods that reach Gaza come through the tunnels

An Israeli Egyptian lawyer, Wael Hamdy, instigated the case because he was “worried about the state of national security” in his country after terror attacks prompted by lawlessness in the Sinai desert region.

The lawyer also said that, in addition to recent efforts by Jerusalem the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Cairo to close some tunnels Israel Egypt has recently resorted to other draconian and inhumane measures such flooding some of the more than 2000 active tunnels with raw sewage.

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The systematic siege on Gaza’s lifeline to the outside world has been met with  fierce condemnation silence from pro-Palestinian groups, assorted “human rights” organizations and, even more strangely, the Guardian.

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Guardian Gaza page, Feb. 27, 2013

After weeks of exhaustive geographical research, the Guardian discovers Gaza’s southern border

In the context of this blog’s continuing communication with the Guardian over factual and historical inaccuracies in their reporting on Israel and the Middle East, one recent communication seemed straight forward enough.

We pointed out to Guardian editors that a report, “10 highlights of Palestine“, by Sarah Irving, Guardian, Nov. 18th, which including the following passage, was categorically false.

Granted, tourism to Palestine still faces many challenges, not least the Israeli border authorities who control all routes into the West Bank and Gaza.

As we posted shortly after Irving’s story was published, Israeli border authorities certainly do not control all routes into Gaza, as the territory borders Egypt, which controls Gaza’s Rafah crossing.

We discovered this cartographical omission by use of our blog’s highly advanced satellite technology (Google Maps), which demonstrated the following:

Yes, Gaza borders Egypt, which controls the Rafah crossing.

Today, the Guardian updated the geographically challenged passage, and the post now adds as an addendum :

This article was amended on 15 December 2011. The original said the Israeli border authorities controlled all routes into the West Bank and Gaza. This has been corrected.

After nearly a month of no doubt exhaustive research, the Guardian (and perhaps Sarah Irving) has discovered a route into Gaza not controlled by Israel.