Rafah and the Law of Unintended Consequences Bites Egypt

After re-opening Rafah, the law of unintended consequences bites Egypt. The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) writes:

A full opening at Egypt’s Rafah border, analysts say, could allow Israel to separate itself more definitively from Gaza, foisting humanitarian and security responsibilities for the enclave onto Egypt . . .

Keeping the border closed to commerce and goods has shielded Cairo from assuming tacit responsibility for feeding the enclave’s 1.5 million people and monitoring shipments for weapons and so-called dual use items that could be used to attack Israel.

The Egyptian street is all for opening the borders all the way, but according to the WSJ, the ruling military leaders aren’t eager to go that far. As it is, some 400 Al-Qaida members are reportedly in Sinai right now. Some Israeli officials told Time that the new Rafah reality has a silver lining:

. . . the reaction in official Israeli circles surely includes “quiet satisfaction.” For in Jerusalem the feeling is: If the Egyptians want to take responsibility for 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza, more power to them. Cairo after all had control of the coastal enclave from 1948 to 1967, when Gaza was among the vast territory Israel conquered in the Six Day War.

What are your thoughts on the security risks vs. political opportunities which Rafah’s opening presents to Israel?

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