Silver Lining

Food for thought

Egypt Installing Metal Barrier on Gaza Border: Residents

Egypt Installing Metal Barrier on Gaza Border: Residents

Al Manar

11/12/2009 Egyptian authorities are inserting metal sheets into the ground along the border town of Rafah in a bid to stem smuggling into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, residents told AFP on Friday.

Metal sheets are being placed 20 to 30 meters deep into the ground, a resident of Sarsawiya south of the border SAID, after the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that an underground barrier is being built along Egypt’s border with the Palestinian enclave.

Another witness said metal sheets were being inserted into the ground in Dihniya town farther to the south.

Reports that Egypt is building an underground wall are “mainly true,” an official stationed near the border told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Smugglers say the wall will not deter them in their efforts to supply the Gaza Strip which has relied on tunnels since Israel closed the enclave after Hamas seized control from loyalists of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

One smuggler told AFP that a metal sheet placed into the ground had cut into a tunnel, but that smugglers had managed to make a hole through it. “There will never be problems building tunnels, the smugglers can just keep going lower than the metal sheets,” another source close to smugglers said.

Egypt has not officially responded to the reports.

Haaretz reported that Egypt was constructing a massive underground iron wall along the entire nine-to-10 kilometer (six-mile) length of the border. The Israeli daily cited Egyptian sources as saying that the barrier would extend 20 to 30 meters underground in a bid to block all but the most determined of smugglers.

Outdoing the Kafkaesque: Egypt’s new US designed underground Gaza wall

People’s Geography (thanks to Aletho news)

Just when you thought things could not become more Kafkaesque comes apparent confirmation that the US-backed Egyptian government is building an underground steel barrier designed to cut off one of the few lifelines sustaining the Gaza Ghetto, the tunnel economy. The BBC reports that the huge underground wall will be 10-11km (6-7 miles) long, will extend 18 metres below the surface and will take 18 months to complete. The project has been shrouded in secrecy with no official confirmation from the Egyptian government, but it is understood that the design is commissioned by US army engineers, at the behest of Israel, Ann Wright surmises.

The ‘impenetrable’ barrier is made of super-strength steel manufactured in the US, according to the BBC. It will likely not succeed in halting all smuggling but will force Palestinians to dig deeper.

Conditions are worsening in this nightmare siege. The Israeli regime has prevented EU officials from entering the besieged strip, Gaza’s water is contaminated and creating a public health disaster and the israeli blockade that prevents vital reconstruction continues unabated.

This is a new low in the levels of inhumanity, absurdity and wretchedness to which the Israeli regime, with active Egyptian and US ZOG complicity, are subjecting the beleaguered Palestinians of Gaza.  Only a just political resolution will put an end to the tunnels.

On a note of black humour, Gilad Atzmon wrote a great satirical piece a few years ago, Operation Security Roof which is relevant here.

Retired US Army Reserve Colonel and former diplomat Ann Wright rightly castigates this development and calls it a laughing stock:

Just as the steel walls of the US Army Corps of Engineers at the base of the levees of New Orleans were unable to contain Hurricane Katrina, the US Army Corps of Engineers’ underground steel walls that will attempt to build an underground cage of Gaza will not be able to contain the survival spirit of the people of Gaza.

America’s super technology will again be laughed at by the world, as young men dedicated to the survival of their people, will again outwit technology by digging deeper, and most likely penetrating the “impenetrable” in some novel, simple, low-tech way.

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