[Freemanlist2] Dr. Aaron Lerner - Commentary: A Modest Proposal - Create Sterile Zone On Egyptian Side

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Fri Apr 27 10:27:04 CDT 2007

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Weekly Commentary: A Modest Proposal - Create Sterile Zone On Egyptian Side Of Egypt-Gaza Border

Dr. Aaron Lerner        Date 26 April, 2007  
[first distributed 2 November, 2006]

Egypt could make a critical contribution to regional stability by invoking
its right of eminent domain to create a 2,000 meter sterile zone on its side
of the Sinai-Gaza border.

Why 2,000 meters when Israelis are only talking about widening the
Philadelphi Corridor that runs between Egypt and Gaza to 400 meters?

Widening the Philadelphi Corridor to 400 meters will make it considerably
harder for gunmen positioned in Rafah buildings to successfully attack
redeployed IDF forces operating against the smuggling tunnels in the area.

Adding a 2,000 meter sterile zone on the Egyptian side would radically
change the nature of the tunneling operations.

The cost, manpower and equipment needed to run a tunnel undetected spanning
such a distance is magnitudes greater than the current tunneling operations,
making these projects considerably easier to detect.

Creating such a wide sterile zone on the Gaza side of the border would mean
moving many tens of thousands of displaced Palestinians into an even smaller
Gaza Strip.  In sharp contrast, there are no significant natural barriers
preventing Egypt from expanding Egyptian Rafah into the Sinai to accommodate
people displaced in the creation of a sterile zone on their side of the
border at a fraction of the cost of a similar project in Gaza.

Would Egypt do it?

That's not the operative question.

The operative question is why Israel isn't suggesting it.

Let the Egyptians explain why they are unwilling to implement a project that
would facilitate their compliance with their treaty obligations.  A project
that, if implemented properly, would not only help facilitate regional
stability but also improve the lives of Egyptian Rafah residents relocated
into new and more spacious accommodations.

Dr. Aaron Lerner, Director IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(Mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-3-7255730
INTERNET ADDRESS: imra at netvision.net.il
Website: http://www.imra.org.il
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