Monday, August 06, 2007

More cleaning up after the Abbas/Dahlan regime

Two newspapers, Al-Masryioun and Al-Quds al-Arabi, have reported the gist of an item that appeared on the DebkaFile website on Saturday, (scroll down to item dated August 4) on moves to do something about radicalization and weapons-smuggling in the Sinai/Gaza area. Debka is a creature of Israeli intelligence, while the two newspapers that have picked up this story are obviously about as far in the other direction as you can get, making this a particularly interesting story. A similar disclosure-pattern was followed by the now-confirmed story about Hamas' having obtained a major intelligence bonanza in its takeover of the Dahlan-controlled locations during the Gaza-takeover.

The story is that Mubarak has invited Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak to Cairo for urgent discussions on an amendment to the Camp David agreement so as to permit Egypt to deploy 7500 special operations troops to Sinai to counter the growing AlQaeda presence there, with particular concern for a built-to-order tunneling business operated by Bedouin families at the Gaza-Sinai border for Palestinian and AlQaeda cells for use in personnel and weapons-smuggling.

Debka added that this was a major topic of discussions during the recent visit to Cairo of Rice and Gates, who were warned by the Egyptians that if nothing is done the tunneling operation could be extended to the West Bank. Debka adds this: "Cairo holds Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas primarily responsible for the deterioration in the security in and around the Gaza Strip". While there isn't any explicit connection drawn between this and the earlier Dahlan-intelligence story, this does suggest a continuation of the idea of cleaning up after the Abbas/Dahlan regime. On the other hand, the theme of deflating for AlQaeda hyping probably means this isn't a story that will get any (politically-correct) Western coverage.


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