Cycle of Viciousness: Complicity Between Tel Aviv and Cairo
Egypt is violating international law through mass home demolitions and evictions along its border with the besieged city of Gaza.
The Human Rights Watch holds that the large-scale destruction of at least 3,255 buildings in Rafah to counter the alleged threat of smuggling tunnels is disproportionate and doesn’t meet Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law or the laws of war.
In its new report, the rights group says, “Since July 2013, the Egyptian military has arbitrarily razed thousands of homes in a once-populated buffer zone on the border with the Gaza Strip, destroying entire neighborhoods and hundreds of hectares of farmland.”
This is while Cairo and their US-trained military fail to explain why they cannot use non-destructive means for detecting and neutralizing tunnels. Instead, they are pumping water from the Mediterranean Sea into underground tunnels used by Palestinians to transfer essential supplies to the besieged city. They have even created a wide buffer zone along the border town of Rafah. Cairo claims the area is where tunnels have allowed ‘militants and weapons’ in from the Palestinian enclave into Egyptian territory. This is while they have never provided any proof.
Unsurprisingly, the United States and other Western governments that arm President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government are looking the other way as his forces abuse citizens under the dubious logic that he is aiding the fight against ISIL – that spawn of the Iraq War. This includes the Islamic Research Council of Al-Azhar University, which claims the tunnels are being used to threaten Egypt’s security!
It’s a sign of utter complicity between Tel Aviv and Cairo in colonizing Palestine and projecting militarism upon Palestinians, whether through direct force, clandestine subversion, or blockade. It’s also an expression of complicity on the part of Egypt and the United States. The US is assisting through its corps of engineers with the construction of underground steel impenetrable wall. After all, Western governments have always been imperialist, and Israel has always been a homicidal racist colonial appendage of the West extending into the Middle East.
As it stands, destroying homes, neighborhoods and livelihoods violates international law. The underground tunnel complex itself is an expression of the desperation created in Gaza as a result of the Western-backed blockade that’s been going on for years; something that no people since the end of World War II have experienced in such a severe and continuing form.
It’s a vicious cycle and a cycle of viciousness. With Tel Aviv refusing to respond to the language of diplomacy, the international civil society should call for greater diplomatic pressure to force the paranoid, exclusivist, imperious, and warlike regime to lift the illegal blockade. Likewise, since Egypt refuses to open Gaza’s doors, Palestinian supporters around the world should inundate Egyptian embassies with calls to force Cairo to see the overall theme: The injustice of the collective punishment imposed on Gaza’s 1.5 million population and Cairo’s refusal to allow international supporters to help.
Too many years have gone by with no change in the brutal isolation of Gaza. Since the siege is being backed by the West and religious leaders in Cairo, only international pressure on Egypt and Israel can help reopen Gaza’s border to the outside world.