Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – GAZA – CAIRO WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Amman – Baghdad – Damascus – Ramallah – Gaza – Cairo/Mubarak – Jerusalem – Paris – Rome – London – Washington; Egypt Permits Palestinian Agents to Enter Gaza through Rafah Terminal – Jerusalem Enraged by Decision – Israel Conducts Raids into Gaza Against Hamas Military Infrastructure
Night Watch: EL-ARISH – There are further signs today Egypt President Hosni Mubarak is nothing more than a nominal head of state. Al Jazeera reports the Egyptian government has allowed the 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims in the Sinai at el-Arish to re-enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah terminal, which means they will enter unsearched by Israeli security. Cairo is aware this enables the ten Hamas agents to enter carrying $150 million of financial aid from Tehran and the Muslim Brotherhood based in Egypt, the organization that created Hamas. This could not have happened without Mubarak’s knowledge. Perhaps he is under the illusion the growing Islamic radicalism that assassinated his predecessor Anwar al-Sadat in 1981, is no threat to him. Perhaps he believes the threat can be easily defeated in Egypt and is taking the military’s loyalty for granted and that the main target of Tehran is still Israel therefore this is largely just Israel’s problem and one they have created since 1948. Perhaps he is also becoming senile and is completely out of touch with reality. [ALJAZEERA]
Tehran is definitely going to test Mubarak’s ability to continue to cooperate and allow Egypt to continue to become a major base of Islamic extremism. That was the reason for Iran National Security Adviser Ali Larijani’s ten days in Cairo, just concluded, as he set the support system for the anti-Mubarak political-military forces in the country which will erupt when Tehran – Damascus enter the current war against Jerusalem.
Jerusalem – It is not surprising the Jerusalem Post/AP report Cairo’s decision to allow the Pilgrims and agents to enter Gaza unsearched has enraged Jerusalem. According to Israel, defense officials there were actually at least two dozen Hamas agents who got through and some of them had just completed training courses in Iran. Courses in missile launching and manufacture. Israel Foreign Ministry stated they were completely uninformed about Cairo’s decision. “This is against all agreements, grounds for a diplomatic crisis.” This has at least created a crisis of confidence and has destroyed any chance of any cooperation of any kind against Islamic fundamentalism. And this is right after Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak just visited Mubarak and received what he believed to be serious pledges and assurances of cooperation. [JPOST]
Israel is now virtually isolated in the region though Jerusalem is still clinging to the belief Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas can be an effective leader against extremism. But Abbas is even more of a figurehead than even Mubarak.
Shujaiya – In the meantime Israel is still conducting raids against what is called the “terror infrastructure” inside the Gaza Strip. Al Jazeera reports Palestinians fired anti-tank missiles at Israel Defense Force (IDF) units that had penetrated 400 yards into the Shujaiya district of Gaza city. Palestinian fighters took up positions as IDF units shelled targets in east and south Gaza. The Palestinian militants were mostly from the Hamas armed wing, Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the Salah al-Din Brigades. At least seven of them were killed by an Israeli helicopter attack. The casualty figure is expected to rise since more fighting is continuing. The Wednesday action is likely to carry over into Thursday. The Hamas agents just returned from Iran will probably be sent into action soon, which should mean more rocket fire and ones with longer range and larger warheads. [ALJAZEERA]
In other action, an Israeli air strike killed Palestinian field leader Yehya Jabr of al -Qassam during an attack on a Palestinian post in the east Bureij refugee camp. There was also more Qassam rocket fire hitting Sderot the Israeli town near Gaza.