Bombshell: Egypt can freely arm PLO after pullout

Jerusalem News Wire

August 9th, 2005

Following Israel's departure from the Gaza Strip this month, Egypt will be free to arm the Palestinian Arabs with tanks, armored personnel carriers and other heavy weaponry, warned Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Yuval Steinitz.

When the committee convened Monday to discuss Israel's plan to surrender control of the Gaza-Sinai border, Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said Egypt would be under no legal obligation to prevent the influx of advanced arms into the strip.
Steinitz described this revelation as a “bomb,” according to Arutz 7.

He reminded the committee that Israel was already engaged in diplomatic efforts to prevent the sale of 100 Egyptian light armored personnel carriers to the Palestinian Authority. With no Israeli presence on the border, Jerusalem would have little ability to prevent such transfers.

Defense Ministry adviser General (Res.) Amos Gilad told the committee the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expected to reach a final agreement with Cairo in the coming weeks that would see the deployment of some 750 Egyptian troops charged with taking over control of the border.

Steinitz said the agreement would “erode and seriously damage the most significant achievement of the peace treaty with Egypt: the demilitarization of the Sinai.”
Egypt has on three occasions launched full-scale wars aimed at annihilating the Jewish state. The Egyptian government also founded the PLO in 1964 in an effort to undermine Israeli resolve through more localized acts of terror.

Ha’aretz defense affairs expert Amir Oren wrote in April, “The prediction [among military officials] is that by next January to March, after Palestinian terror has increased and become more sophisticated, the IDF will return to Gaza.”

Israeli casualties are expected to be severe in any post-pullout incursion or invasion should the Palestinian Arabs obtain heavy and advanced weaponry.
“The mind-boggling thing,” wrote HaTzofeh military correspondent Haggai Huberman, “is that the State of Israel is advancing, knowingly and with its eyes open, towards this death trap.”

“The Yom Kippur War of October 1973 was a surprise, but the war of October 2005 is totally known in advance.”