Israel Wants to Transfer Gaza Refugees to Egypt
June 20, 2007 (LPAC)--A major humanitarian disaster is taking place as a result of the continued isolation of the Gaza Strip following the Hamas takeover. There are hundreds of Palestinians trapped at the Erez crossing trying to flee to the West Bank. Most of them are Fatah members who fear for their lives. The Israelis refuse to allow them to transit through Israeli territory in order to travel to the West Bank. Israel wants to transfer them to Egypt, a move that Egypt rejects, fearing that this would be an attempt by Israel to use the crisis to expel refugees from the territories.
The Israelis have refused entry even to those who are wounded or sick and require medical attention. They have set up barricades and stationed tanks on both sides of the checkpoint, with the refugees trapped between the two. The Israelis are using the excuse that there could be terrorists among the refugees and therefore will not let them transit.
In an editorial demanding that Israel allows the refugees to transit through Israel, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz compares the government action to what happened in the days before the Holocaust. "In the dark days before the Holocaust, it was similarly argued...that the German and Austrian refugees fleeing for their lives could include moles seeking to assimilate into the countries through which they passed and sabotage them." The editorial also quoted scripture on how God damned, even in the tenth generation, the Ammonite and Moabites for not allowing Moses to lead the Jewish people to transit their land.
The complicating factor is that Palestinian President Abu Mazen also refuses to allow the Gazan refugees to enter the West Bank on the claim that he does not want to see Gaza totally controlled by the Hamas. On the other hand he refuses to hold a dialogue with Hamas until they return to the old status quo.