The tunnels are closing, fuel is running out, people are deeply unhappy. For Gaza’s Islamist rulers, trying to draw Israel into conflict may offer a way out
Hamas has seen better days, particularly in the Gaza Strip. The Islamist organization has been marked by the Egyptian army and the new regime in Cairo as the enemy, no less. And yet it could be Israel that pays the price.
It is often difficult to comprehend the extent to which relations between Egypt and Hamas have deteriorated. Leaders of the Palestinian organization are forbidden to travel from the Gaza Strip into Egypt, for example. This is one step that even former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak avoided taking, but for several weeks, this has become the new reality.
And the prohibition against traveling abroad is the least of the organization’s problems right now. The real crisis it faces is the situation in the tunnels. This week, Ahmad Ali, the Egyptian army spokesperson, announced that his people had closed down another 154 tunnels that linked Sinai and Gaza. It also intercepted a terrorist attack in a tunnel that originated in the Gaza Strip. Ali carefully avoided directly blaming Hamas, but did claim that some of the weapons that were confiscated in Sinai were manufactured by the organization’s military wing in Gaza.
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