If Egypt's Army Enters Gaza It Will Be Resisted With Roses
By Abdel Bari Atwan
I’m afraid to turn on the TV for the next few days because I fear I will have to contemplate the sight of Egyptian warplanes bombing targets inside Gaza, with wailing ambulances ferrying dozens of dead and wounded to hospitals which have no medicine and no supplies, due to the blockade.
I do not wish to witness such an unthinkable event or follow the details of such a disaster. The image of the Egyptian Army that still lives in my mind – and the minds of more than 400 million other Arabs – is one of bravery and courage, the defenders of our nation.
I started on this pessimistic train of thought having read an article in a Kuwaiti newspaper today in which Ahmed Wasfi, Commander of the Egyptian second field army, was quoted threatening to invade the Gaza Strip. His language was of the type we more normally associate with Israeli officials.
Major General Wasfi said he wanted to inform the ‘jihadist elements in the Gaza Strip’ that his Army would not allow them to continue their ‘criminal business in the Sinai’. He warned that any actions which threatened the security and integrity of Egypt would bring down the ‘wrath of the Egyptian army’ upon them.
I do not personally know how immense the military threat posed to the mighty Egyptian Army by the besieged and starving citizens of the Gaza Strip might be; but, for all its up to the minute weapons and aircraft, the giant army is clearly quaking in its boots.
The Egyptian army has destroyed the Gazan economy in the past two months, by closing the border and destroying its smuggling tunnels. It has also established a buffer zone along its border with Gaza. Protected by hundreds of troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles, from where and how is this risk to the security and integrity of Egypt?
It is understandable that Egypt’s military leaders seek to ensure their country’s security in the face of any threat and it is true that their army is fighting a bloody war in the Sinai desert with various militant Islamic and jihadist groups. But it is not acceptable that helpless, trapped, and starving civilians are made the scapegoats in a war over which they have no control and in which they are playing no role.
The Egyptian military superpower could occupy the Gaza Strip in five minutes, and not a single bullet would be fired, or even called for, by the people of Gaza. The Gazans consider the Egyptian Army to be their army, and the people of Egypt their brethren. Egypt is an extension of their own country, and they stretch out their hands across the border.
The Palestinian people, the children of the Gaza Strip in particular, have endured a deeply unfair campaign of incitement against them in the Egyptian media since the fall of President Morsi. A campaign based on lies and the fabrication, which completely overlooks their just cause.
It is painful to see the Gaza Strip, whose 1.5 million people are housed on no more than 150 square miles, being portrayed as the greatest threat to its neighbour, Egypt, rather than Israel – which the current Egyptian regime seems to consider as sacred – or Ethiopia, which (helped and advised by Israel) has built mega-dams depriving more than fifty million Egyptians of their share of Nile water.
Yesterday, Mr Nabil Fahmy, Egypt’s Foreign Minister, warned of war on the Gaza Strip, and today General Wafsi has followed suite. Is Egypt going to do as Israel did in 2008/9 and again in 2012 – namely slaughter innocent children in Gaza?
For the Palestinian resistance, whether political or ideological, there is only one enemy and that is Israel. All Arabs and Muslims, led by Egypt, are their allies and brothers.
In conclusion, we wish to remember the Egyptian army commanders of the past who were prepared to make martyrs of their own children for the cause of Palestine, and fought four wars to uphold the simple truth that we are sons of one nation and one religion. We hope that their memory will not be besmirched by Egypt’s current military leaders who can so readily contemplate inflicting an unjust, collective punishment on their brothers , their countrymen and their faith.
أين مِصر في المُصالحة الخليجيّة؟ وهل تمّ تَجاهُلها؟ ولماذا زار الرئيس السيسي أبو ظبي وليس الرّياض؟ وما هي الأسباب الخمسة التي غيّرت المشهد؟
المصالحة الخليجية وشيكة والمصافحات التاريخية بين بن سلمان وتميم وبن زايد تقترب.. البداية كروية والانهاك النفسي والمالي واليأس من الحماية الامريكية ابرز الأسباب.. ماذا عن الاتصالات السرية؟ وماذا عن الدور الكويتي؟ وما هي قصة دعوتي للكويت التي لم تتم؟