New Pressures on Egyptian Government to Assist in Easing Gaza Blockade
Continued from previous page
Israel has been hoping to rid itself of responsibility for Gaza for “a long time now, and I would think that the military would be very aware of that,” said Hijab. “The military will probably walk a fine line between loosening up the blockade without inheriting Gaza.”
Noura Erekat adds, “Given the considersations that this new regime will have, and the threats that it will face, it can’t [decide to lift the blockade] in a vacuum.” Those threats include Israel’s powerful military as well as the possibilities of strict conditions on or cuts to U.S. military aid. The worst-case scenario, according to Erekat, could be Israeli forces threatening to police the border themselves on the Egytian side.
“Fundamentally, the official position is the same for now,” wrote Issandr El Amrani, and Egyptian journalist, in a March 7 blog post on arabist.net. “Egypt has a moral responsibility to address the humanitarian situation in Gaza, as well as encourage the international community to pressure Israel into lifting the siege.”