Don’t pretend to be surprised Arabs crossed the Gaza border fence
The image of the anticipated thousands of Arabs walking across the Gaza border on the eve of Passover is just too ironic for words. And about the test balloons they sent over this past week — the four separate cases of Arab infiltrators crossing over from Gaza into Israel — do not believe army or government officials if they express surprise at that. The Jerusalem Post reported on the audacious announcement that:
“The IDF takes seriously any attempt to harm or deface the security fence and defense infrastructure.”
In fact, they have known for a long time that the border fence with Gaza is permeable!
It looks like they were so busy with tunnel blasting (no less important, of course) that they did not do anything about a simpler threat that was there in front of their noses all the time.
After all, if someone can just walk past the border into Gaza, then someone can just walk out.
And who walked into Gaza? Three Israelis who are apparently suffering from mental illness: Abera Mengistu, Israeli of Ethiopian origin, and Israeli Bedouins Hisham al-Syed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Anima. It appears, in fact, that al-Syed crossed the border into Gaza three times, only the first two times, Hamas returned him to his family in Israel. Three times!
Abu Anima was the last of the three to cross into Gaza. What is infuriating is that, according to Times of Israel,
he was spotted by the IDF crossing the border fence into the Gaza Strip.
How is it possible that the army saw him crossing the border on his own and did not stop him? Could it be that this lackadaisical behaviour on the part of the IDF is what gave Hamas the idea to send terrorists sauntering across the Gaza border in the first place?
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Abu Anima last entered Gaza in July 2016. Almost two years ago. Two years is plenty of time to figure out why it is so easy to move across the border and to close up all the weak spots. Two years is plenty of time to demonstrate to Hamas that while these three may have easily walked into Gaza, Israel has learned its lesson and will not allow anyone to move in either direction from that point on.
Liberman is reported in the Jerusalem Post article as having said:
“I think the military is well prepared, we are ready for any scenario. We are doing everything so that this holiday will pass peacefully, in security and happiness.”
He should tell that to the families of Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Syed, and Juma Ibrahim abu Anima and see how well it goes over. Because the military has not been ready for any scenario. These three young men were the canary in the mine shaft. And nobody took heed; our sophisticated intelligence units did not take heed. So please, Liberman, get off your high horse.
Liberman should go to the Mengistu family home as they are making their final preparations for the Passover Seder and look at the chair at the table that will remain empty, as it has for the past four years. He should get down on his knees and beg the family for forgiveness on behalf of the IDF and the Defense Ministry. And then do the same at the al-Syed and abu Anima homes.
And then he should turn to all of Israel and be honest as he declares how these three men were a sign sent to warn us, a beacon in the fog telling of danger we did not suspect was there. And we wonder if there are not prophets in our time! Oh! We are so blind sometimes.
Feature image credit: Wikimedia.