Ben-Dror Yemini responds to IMRA regarding his proposal Egypt annexes the
Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA 2 July 2012
IMRA sent questions to veteran Maariv political columnist Ben-Dror Yemini.
The replies are IMRA's translation from the Hebrew replies. They are
distributed with the permission of Ben-Dror Yemini.
You advocate in your column today (29.6.2012) in Maariv that Egypt annexes
the Gaza Strip.
As you know, the Israel-Egypt peace treaty requires that the zone closest to
Israel’s border is subject to very strict force restrictions with a force
restriction also applying to a zone inside Israel.
Q. Are you assuming that a similar force restriction would be in effect in
the entire Gaza Strip? Would you expect such a force restriction to be
unilateral or also apply to a zone inside Israeli surrounding the Gaza
A: The transfer of the Gaza Strip to the responsibility of Egypt, as I
suggest, is not a matter of one day, but a reality that has already begun to
In the current situation, Israel loses both ways. On the one hand, Israel is
providing humanitarian aid, while on the other hand – there is a passageway
for rockets, missiles and ammunition through the Sinai and Egypt to the Gaza
The result is - the responsibility is on Israel, while Egypt is exempted
from all responsibility.
It is absolutely clear that at this stage we are not talking about a formal
Egyptian annexation of the Gaza Strip, but instead an aspiration for the
From a military, political and ideological standpoint, the Gaza Strip is
already part of the Muslim Brotherhood bloc that controls both entities. So
Israel only loses through its connection to the Gaza Strip.
Therefore, at this stage restrictions of the current Israeli-Egyptian
agreements certainly will not apply. If and when a new reality is created,
namely the annexation de - jure, and not only de - facto, then it would be
necessary to adjust the agreements to the new reality.
But it is clear to me that there is no chance that this will happen in the
Q: What do you anticipate happening to the tens of thousands of rockets,
missiles, etc. now in the Gaza Strip?
A: Nothing will happen. There is no dispute about the fact that all military
supplies reach the Gaza Strip through Egypt, But Israel, and only Israel,
bears humanitarian responsibility.
So the idea is to disengage from any responsibility, in any event the
Philadelphi Corridor is breached by dozens of tunnels.
Q: Our experience today is that when rockets are launched from Sinai into
Israel that Egypt simply denies that the rockets were fired from Sinai and
that the IDF is unable to take measures against the sources of the fire
because the rockets were launched from inside sovereign Egypt. In the event
that your policy recommendation was adopted and the same scenario played out
in the Gaza Strip what measures do you suggest Israel could carry out in
response to the attacks (beyond spending more money on intercept
technologies and shelters)?
A: Indeed, there is a constant problem of shirking responsibility. I do not
think that my proposal will transform Egypt into a state that takes
responsibility. I'm just saying that Gaza is a burden on Israel's