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WHAT IS HAMAS HIDING IN RAFAH, AND WHY DOESN'T BIDEN WANT THE IDF TO FIND IT?



Stop Iran Now Via Bonnie Glick - Townhall



Why did world leaders clamor for Israel to do nothing? 


What are they hiding? It turns out they are hiding a lot. 


Over one million Gazans were said to be sheltering in humanitarian safe areas in Rafah, and Hamas used them as human shields to ensure that Israel would not invade. An Israeli operation would force the vaunted international community to warn Israel against such action to protect civilians.


Indeed, Hamas’s strategy of sacrificing civilians has led Norway, Spain, and Ireland to decide that terrorism should be rewarded with recognition of a Palestinian state.


This is the moral equivalent of offering a restored Reich to Adolph Hitler.


Israel, undaunted by the virtue signaling of the international community and determined to defeat Hamas and rescue hostages, entered Rafah. Prior to the IDF entry, it flooded Rafah with instructions: sending Gazan civilians phone calls, text messages, and millions of dropped leaflets urging them to leave the area in advance of an Israeli incursion. They literally warned the enemy that they were coming and urged civilians to flee. Nearly one million Gazans fled to humanitarian zones in Rafah. 


Meanwhile, Israel continued to negotiate through the “good” offices of the United States, Egypt, and Qatar for the release of hostages. Out of thin air, on May 6 Hamas agreed to the ceasefire terms. Only, what actually happened was that the terms they agreed to were not the negotiated terms that the US, Qatar, and Israel had seen. Indeed, Egypt edited the ceasefire terms in such a way that Hamas would get a “win” and say they accepted the terms, but the terms, as edited, were outrageous. Even the even-keeled US negotiator, CIA Chief William Burns, was mystified and outraged. What kind of nonsense game was Egypt playing? Cairo pulled a bait-and-switch on the Israelis and the other negotiators ensuring that, needless to say, negotiations broke down. 


On the IDF’s first day of entry into Rafah in mid-May they discovered hundreds of tunnels with over 50 two-way underground tunnels between Rafah and Egypt. Dozens more cross-border tunnels have been discovered since, along the Rafah-Egypt border. Some tunnels were paved and wide enough for passage of full-sized cargo trucks.


The IDF also found more gruesome evidence of Hamas’s barbarism, the bodies of hostages stolen from Israel on October 7, 2023. Some, like Shani Louk, had been raped, dismembered, and murdered with her corpse paraded into Gaza as a trophy by the barbarous terrorists, others were tortured in the tunnels and murdered there.


Beyond hostage remains, the IDF seized hundreds of weapons and war materiel They discovered UN relief packages, food, cash, electrification, housing, office space, etc. An underground metropolis was built by Hamas in Rafah. The construction of Gaza’s underground cities is of particular interest to Egyptian financial concerns. Egyptians are renowned for their above-ground pyramids. As it turns out, they know there is value to building below ground as well.


In the Middle East marketplace, the souk culture is all about the baksheesh (bribery). 

Egypt built a formidable border wall, something Donald Trump could not even imagine in a fever dream for America. It is impenetrable, militarized, and closely guarded with Egyptian troops and security forces. The way through it for Gazans seeking to get out of Gaza? Baksheesh. Upwards of $5,000 per person. It has also been a gateway for international aid and smuggling into Gaza resulting in over $88 million in profit to the holder of the border keys. 


The holder of those keys is a Bedouin tribal leader named Ibrahim al-Organi, now the wealthiest man in northern Sinai. But how could an ex-con smuggler rise to a position of border control prince? Through connections to the Egyptian government, Organi has cultivated extremely close ties with Egyptian President al-Sisi, and more significantly, with al-Sisi’s son, Mahmoud. General Mahmoud al-Sisi is the Deputy Chief of Egyptian intelligence and he sits on Organi’s board. It’s good to have friends in high places, and in the case of Organi, it has made him, and those in his network, very wealthy. 


Every day there is additional evidence of Egyptian smuggling in Gaza. Intelligence on May 31, 2024 uncovered surface to air missiles smuggled into Rafah from Egypt. The large cache purportedly would have been used to take down IDF helicopters. How much money changed hands  for Egypt to have turned a blind eye (or been complicit) in these types of smuggling operations? 


Trafficking helps explain Egypt’s desperate moves, down to its clumsy diplomatic effort. The embarrassment to rain down on Egypt’s government for its perfidy toward Israel and its American patron will be catastrophic reputationally and financially for the al-Sisi family. 


Why did Washington pressure Israel to remain outside Rafah, including withholding arms to keep the IDF from entering? What’s in it for Team Biden?


Avoidance of utter humiliation. 


Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, and Jake Sullivan have been straddling a so-called ironclad commitment to Israeli security on one hand and a restive Democrat party that is increasingly hostile toward America’s only democratic ally in the Middle East.


Biden’s team is forced to reconcile the fact that it is selling out Israel while acknowledging that Israel is obeying the laws of war as well as international humanitarian law. Biden, Blinken, and Sullivan constantly harangue Israel to not cross any of their artificial redlines in an effort to constrain IDF activities, most recently in Rafah. Then they are forced publicly to acknowledge that Israel has not crossed any redlines.


Biden foolishly announced in March during his State of the Union Address that the US would build a floating pier to assist in bringing humanitarian assistance into Gaza. No one asked for the pier. Biden assured that no US boots would be on the ground in Gaza, despite the construction being done by the US military. The White House said the IDF would be responsible for securing the pier while simultaneously prosecuting a just war to defeat a terrorist army.


The nonsensical upside-down Biden approach to Gaza was further highlighted during the maiden delivery of aid across the pier into Gaza. Of the nearly 600 tons of food rolled off the newly-built pier on May 18, neary 75% of it was looted before it could reach the UN’s warehouse only eight miles away. To add insult to injury, Biden’s $320 million pier broke away from its moorings and ships sent to retrieve it were beached in the Israeli city of Ashdod. It has proven an unmitigated disaster. No one in Rafah benefited. 


Why else is Biden so adamant that the IDF cannot proceed further into Rafah? What other humiliations is America hoping to keep under wraps? 


Recently, following Israel’s successful surgical strike in Rafah to eliminate two terrorist masterminds, a humanitarian safe area caught fire and several civilians were killed. Hamas’s publicity hacks blamed Israel’s strike. The IDF undertook an investigation which uncovered that the fire ignited over 1.7 kilometers from the IDF strike and was not caused by their action.


Rather there was an ordnance storage facility in Rafah abutting the humanitarian zone and there were explosions in the stockpile that caused the fire. Hamas purposely stored highly combustible ammunition alongside a humanitarian zone for civilians. 


The ordnance themselves were quite interesting. It turns out many were US-manufactured munitions that had been sold to Egypt. With Israel now in control over the entire Gaza-Egypt border area, it is all but certain that more evidence of Egyptian smuggling of American-made weapons and possible collusion with Hamas will unfold. What will happen to the US-Egypt relationship as a result?


The IDF operation in Rafah is bound to turn up mountains of evidence of more money changing hands. 


What is becoming obvious is that there were a lot of reasons for Egypt and America to want Israel to remain outside of Rafah. The secrets that will be revealed through the IDF’s operations may well surprise the civilized world as Israel fights to defeat the barbarians.  


Bonnie Glick is the former Deputy Administrator and Chief Operating Officer of the US Agency for International Development. She is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 


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