Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Big News in the Middle East?

It is very possible that the Egyptian Army, in order to consolidate its recent coup, has declared war on the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, in ways that may change the status quo in Gaza -- and therefore in Israel.

There isn't a whole lot about this in the press yet; most of the articles are about street protests in Cairo.  But if you search for "Egypt" and "tunnels," you'll find that the the past two days, the army has flooded some 800 of the tunnels connecting Egypt to Gaza.  Doing this doesn't just mess with the economy of the southern Palestinian enclave; it strikes specifically at the governing party, Hamas, which has supported itself largely taxes on the goods imported -- or smuggled, if you prefer -- through those tunnels.

A friend in Israel also writes that the Egyptian army has suddenly killed a large number of "terrorists" -- we're not sure whom she means, so let's be careful with the word until we know more.  (One of her friends, apparently an Egyptian, writes with some hyperbole that his nation's army "is the best in the world," and that he will take his next holiday at Sharm el-Shaik).

Still, something is going on over there, and it's bigger than Tahrir Square.

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