Gazans Knock Down Border, Flee to Egypt

Massive numbers of Palestinians are fleeing to Egypt.

Gazans Knock Down Border, Flee to Egypt Palestinians make their way to Egypt after Palestinian gunmen blew up a section of the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, January 23, 2008.
(Suhaib Salem/Reuters) Tens of thousands of Palestinians on foot and on donkey carts poured into Egypt from Gaza Wednesday after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile barrier dividing the border town of Rafah. The border breach was a dramatic protest against the closure of the impoverished Palestinian territory imposed last week by Israel.

Jubilant men and women crossed unhindered by border controls over the toppled corrugated metal along sections of the barrier, carrying goats, chickens and crates of Coca-Cola. Some brought back televisions, car tires and cigarettes and one man even bought a motorcycle. Vendors sold soft drinks and baked goods to the crowds.

They were stocking up on goods made scarce by the Israeli blockade and within hours, shops on the Egyptian side of Rafah had run out of stock. The border fence had divided the Rafah into two halves, one on the Egyptian side and one in southern Gazan.

One imagines they were yelling “Rodney King!” as they did this. . . .

Aside from whatever impact this has on the never-ending Israel-Palestinian mess, one wonders how it will affect the border security debate in the United States. Suddenly, erecting walls doesn’t seem like such a great solution.

UPDATE: A video report from AP:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    I hear Wal-Mart’s thinking about opening a store over there.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    Doesn’t sound like they’re “fleeing to Egypt”, sounds like they’re going on shopping sprees. I’d think that Egyptian merchants would start lobbying for the barriers to stay down.

  3. John425 says:

    “The border breach was a dramatic protest against the closure of the impoverished Palestinian territory imposed last week by Israel.”

    Gee, and all this time, I thought the Egypt/Gaza border closure was imposed by the Egyptians. Silly me.

  4. Apparently more Palestinians are needed to do the jobs that Egyptians won’t do.

  5. Tlaloc says:

    Aside from whatever impact this has on the never-ending Israel-Palestinian mess, one wonders how it will affect the border security debate in the United States. Suddenly, erecting walls doesn’t seem like such a great solution.

    Well, to be fair, a US wall isn’t intended to starve a people into submission.

    I fully support a border wall that runs on the north side of Texas. 🙂

  6. Triumph says:

    one wonders how it will affect the border security debate in the United States.

    It probably won’t affect it at all since there is no blockade initiated by a third party between the US and its neighbors to set off this type of reaction.

    Do you think a bunch of Honduran peasants are going to commandeer some land mines to blow up the US-Mexican border fence???