Eye on the Middle East Nov/Dec 2003

Israel has been under intense pressure by the United States, Europe, the Arab nations, and others to stop construction of a security fence in areas that have exported suicide bombers and assorted terrorists bent on murdering innocent Israeli civilians.

Opponents of the protective barrier argue that it is not conducive to promoting peace because it offends the Palestinians. Accompanying the criticism have been
threats that construction
costs for the fence may be
deducted from American
loan guarantees. For
weeks one of the foremost
foreign policy issues dis-
cussed in the media was
Israel’s alleged insensitivity to the com-
plaints of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

But while there was much heat generated over the protective fence, nothing was being said about the tunnels being bored from Egypt into Gaza to deliver arms to Palestinian terrorists.

These tunnels reportedly channel an assort
ment of explosives,
grenade launchers,
mortars, rockets, surface-to-air missiles, and AK-47 rifles for the sole purpose of killing Israelis and destroying the State of Israel.

Egress from these lethal conduits is often located in homes. In at least one instance, a tunnel opened into a child’s bedroom. When the Israel Defense Forces locate these passages, they destroy them and bulldoze the houses. Only then does the international media take notice and accuse the Israelis of egregious violations of Palestinian civil rights and obstructing the so-called road map to peace.

Viewing the facts on the ground, one is compelled to ask why, while condemning Israel’s protective fence, there is no outrage or action against the smuggling tunnels. After all, these passages come from the Egyptian side of the Egypt-Gaza border. Not only are weapons being delivered from Egyptian territory, but someone is sending these armaments through areas controlled by the forces of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Yet no one condemns Cairo. And there is no word of penalizing the Egyptians by reducing their foreign aid stipends.

Fencing off potentially dangerous areas is routine procedure everywhere in the world. The United States has built such barriers between itself and Mexico to inhibit the passage of illegal aliens and drugs. In Israel, fences on the Jordanian and Lebanese borders have effectively inhibited terrorists from infiltrating Israel.

And contrary to claims that Israel is establishing new borders, Israeli officials have made it clear these fences are not permanent but are there only until the killing of innocent civilians stops. And it might be worth mentioning that it is the Israelis who have kept their word regarding negotiated agreements.

We should also note two facts. (1) Whenever Israel has relieved its closure of towns that terrorists have used as launching sites for murder, it has paid the price in Israeli blood. (2) Israel’s security fence has not killed, wounded, or harmed anyone. The same cannot be said for the weaponry being hauled through the tunnels. The intention is to use the contraband to kill. And in all too many cases that intention has been satisfied.

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