Egypt Razes Gaza Border Houses, and No One Cares

Monday, November 03, 2014 |  Ryan Jones

Voices in the international community make a habit of calling out Israel each and every time it implements security measures that adversely affect the Palestinian Arabs. This is done in such a way that suggests the well-being of average Palestinians is their primary concern. Events over the past week demonstrated otherwise.

Late last week, the Egyptian army surprised the residents of the Gaza border town of Rafah by giving those living within 500 meters (546 yards) of the border a mere 48-hours to evacuate.

The order directly affected some 10,000 people, whose homes are soon to be razed in order to create a buffer zone that includes a water-filled canal aimed at thwarting the digging of cross-border smuggling tunnels. Unconfirmed reports suggested the buffer zone could also extend into the Gaza Strip.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi justified the creation of the buffer zone by pointing to recent terrorist attacks in Sinai that claimed the lives of 31 Egyptian soldiers. The weapons used in those attacks reportedly came from Gaza.

Rafah is split in two by the Gaza border, and those living on the Gaza side will also be hit hard by the new Egyptian security measure. Reports in previous years highlighted how the local economy was almost wholly dependent on the smuggling tunnels.

And yet, not a single major Western leader or mainstream media outlet has criticized Egypt for protecting its border in this way, despite the fact that so many local residents on both sides of the border are suffering and will suffer as a result.

This stands in sharp contrast to the typical reaction to similar Israeli security measures, and one can only speculate that the key differentiating factor in the Egyptian effort is that no Jews are involved.

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