When Egypt Clenches Its Iron Fist

(Ha'aretz) Zvi Bar'el - Egypt exercised considerable force to demonstrate its determination in deciding who enters Gaza, how and when, as it stood off against Palestinians rioting over the delay of an aid convoy. Egypt is making it clear that from now on Damascus and Iran no longer have exclusive control over Hamas' moves, and that Cairo has a powerful economic lever at its disposal. Cairo is fed up with Hamas' foot-dragging and Tehran's meddling. In this Egypt is assisted by Saudi Arabia, which gave Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal an ultimatum to decide whether he is running an Arab organization or is under the "patronage of a foreign power," i.e., Iran. Reconciliation with Fatah is one of the two conditions Egypt is demanding for opening the border crossings. The second pertains to the success of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal.

2010-01-07 08:53:15

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