When Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry yesterday called on Israel to open the six border crossings with the Gaza Strip to provide for the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people and reconstruct the Gaza Strip, during his press conference with the Venezuelan foreign minister (see: http://different-traditions.com/?p=1769), it was too much to hope that he was being anywhere near sincere.
They were words that were not intended to have an expiry date longer than the press conference.
In fact, Egypt’s junta has no intention of allowing the “peace negotiations” between the Palestinian unity government and Israel to go anywhere. Sisi’s minions (Egyptian officials) are not allowing the phrase “lifting the siege” to have any place at all in any proposed truce deal, so they are effectively acting as a block in respect of essential parts of this important proposal. Egypt is even ignoring officially endorsed European solutions to the crisis through the opening of a marine port in the Gaza Strip under international supervision. In fact Tzipi Livni declared a week ago that there was an agreement between Israel and Egypt to strangle Hamas, a statement which the Egyptians haven’t even bothered to deny.
The Palestinian delegation is finally talking in one voice with the Egyptian “mediator” and “… insists on the implementation of the demands of the resistance, which have practically become the demands of the entire Palestinian people”, whilst “… mass rallies held in the Gaza Strip to express support for the demands of the delegation …” have given this delegation additional legitimacy. On this open link: http://arabi21.com/Story/767595
It’s time for the Palestinians to leave the coup government in Egypt behind to stew in its own juice and seek a new structure for negotiations. Sisi and his friend Tohamy, who runs the General “Intelligence” Service and is in charge of relations with Israel, are so caught up with their anti-Muslim Brotherhood vendetta (which for them includes Hamas) that they can’t see clearly. Sisi and Tohamy didn’t even run the initial Gazan cease-fire agreement past Hamas at all, which is downright stupid. But they are helping Israel to wear down Palestinian negotiators in endless political manoeuvrings, and even to marginalise the input of the US negotiating team in Cairo.
With a European administered port, Gaza and its ingenious people will soon outstrip an Egypt run by the military (an “Officer’s Republic” as described in the link: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/09/the-past-and-future-of-the-morsi-government/. We can say this with confidence just as Sisi & co are trying to give themselves some level of economic credibility by announcing all the development plans of Morsi’s violently deposed government, as if they were of their own making.