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« "Spurred On By TV Footage" | Main | Hamas Coordinating Events With Al-Jazeera? »

Wednesday, January 23 2008

Border Breach Planned For Weeks

Border2McClatchy News correspondent Dion Nissenbaum explains why that Gaza border wall was destroyed so easily:

They had apparently been planning the attack for weeks. With the knowledge of locals, militants had spent weeks methodically using blow torches to cut along the bottom of the 30-foot-tall corrugated iron wall along the Egyptian border.

Before dawn on Wednesday, militants blew holes in the adjacent concrete slabs and then toppled the iron wall.

The breach wasn't a spontaneous event. As I pointed out earlier today, the timing of this comes too soon after Gaza's blackouts. A coincidence?

UPDATE Jan. 24: A Palestinian guard told the Times of London he saw people surreptitiously working to undermine the wall "for months."

Asked whether he had reported it to the government, he replied: "It was the government that was doing this. Who would I report it to?"

A Palestinian journalist also confirmed for Nissenbaum that Hamas was behind the breach:

Freelance Palestinian journalist Zuhair Najar said he was in Rafah a week ago working on a story about the network of smuggling tunnels under the border (used to get weapons in and militants out) when he saw militants doing some work on the iron fence. . . .

The militants, who Najar said were with Hamas, told him they were preparing to repel any possible Israeli attack.

But now it is clear that it was part of a long, well-organized plan to bring down the wall and break the Israeli economic siege.

 

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