Sanctions have been imposed on the Palestinian people since Hamas' victory in the elections early this year.   Since then, the US and Western Europe, the so-called advocators of democracy in the Middle East, with full Israeli instigation, have engaged in a policy of regime change aimed at ousting Hamas, the newly and democratically elected government from power. 

The message addressed to Palestinians and the Arab world is loud and clear: Either you do as we tell you or else you will suffer.  A peculiar brand of democracy clumsily disguised for a total hegemony of the west on the Middle East.  Hence, sanctions have been imposed aimed at crippling the newly elected government and bringing to its knees. 

All of this comes as no surprise to the average Arab citizen who never believes for a moment, that these western shenanigans are directed at helping the Palestinian cause. 

However, what was not expected in this charade was the treacherous attitude of the so-called moderate Arab countries who were, and still are, doing the Israeli bidding of strangulating the Palestinians.  At the head of this sinister cabal, unfortunately,  is Egypt's Mubarak followed by Jordan and Saudi Arabia. These countries have engaged in shameless attempts at endorsing Mahmuwd `Abbas and  shoring up his Fatah party, at the expense of the elected Hamas. 

While Israel imprisons the Palestinians legislators and kills their activists by the hundreds, amazingly Egypt, by holding the Palestinian people hostage, is becoming de facto a surrogate jailer on behalf of the Israeli occupiers.  Furthermore, in pursuing this path, the Egyptians have engaged in "arm twisting" tactics in order to extract from the Palestinians utter submission to Western and Israeli demands. 

Alas, the average Arab citizens in these countries is never given the true picture of this treacherous behavior. Quite to the contrary, "moderate" Arab government controlled newspapers, are always falsely projecting the idea that their rulers are fully behind the struggle of the Palestinians and their welfare. 

While these sanctions have lasted since the Hamas ascendancy to power, only now we learn that the Arabs and the Arab league are ending their boycott and are lifting their imposed sanctions on the Palestinians!  For anyone with a grain of a brain can clearly see how these countries were all along engaged in humbling the Palestinians. Was this done in the spirit of brotherhood and upholding the plight of Palestinians as they preached? Hardly. 

A few days ago, the Egyptian authority intercepted a Palestinian legislator carrying some 2 million Euros from private donations, and for awhile prevented him from entering Gaza with the money. In fact they out rightly confiscated the money, but later changed their mind. 

One wonders what was the reason behind this sudden change of heart? 

Now we now learn the reason:  Iran has just donated USD 120 million to the Palestinian Hamas-led government and has said it is ready to give more. Suddenly the prospect of losing further influence to the Iranians among Palestinians dictated a different approach. 

Since the bulk of aid money given to Hamas is usually smuggled through the many secret tunnels dug under the Philadelphi corridor, why then the big fuss?  It is well known that Hamas occasionally, and on purpose, directs its money transfers via emissaries in the open, through the Rafah crossing. This is in anticipation of the Egyptian government's knee-jerk reaction in intercepting the funds.  As usual, the Egyptians never fail to fall in the same trap again and again. Hamas' intended action is solely aimed at embarrassing the Egyptian authority in the eyes of the Arab street. 

To this date, the Egyptian and Jordanians banks in Gaza and the West bank are enforcing, at the behest of the US, an ironclad boycott and are adamant at transferring badly needed funds to the beleaguered Palestinians.   Now that the Hamas government has succeeded in taping new financial sources to meet its needs, the Egyptian authority has suddenly awaken to an unpleasant situation where it has been outsmarted and its control  effectively circumvented. 

What Mubarak seems not to get is that openly declaring monies by Palestinian officials at Rafah crossing, are purposely designed  at embarrassing and exposing Egyptian efforts, or the lack thereof, in the eyes of the Arab street.  Meanwhile, at each intercept, Egyptians are taken aback by surprise. Their bewilderment never ceases. Hitherto, they have been scratching their heads trying to figure out how these funds are been channeled to the Palestinians from Egypt in the first place. 

Since Palestinian emissaries are thoroughly searched upon their entrance into Egypt, the question is: how do these funds/donations keep popping up in Egypt before they are either declared at the Rafah customs or even smuggled through secret tunnels to Gaza?  This is the 64 thousand dollar question, meanwhile the mystery remains unsolved. 

Since last summer, when Israel demonstrated its inability to defeat Hizb Ullah, Egyptian influence in the region and towards the Palestinians in particular, has sunk to its lowest level in many decades. 

Mubarak's diplomatic inertia and the lack of effectiveness of his current policies are been daily uncovered.  Case in point: "the never ending saga of the Palestinian national unity government", the failure to solve the prisoners swap, despite the wishful thinking expressed by Egyptian officials. Each day brings us more deception and confusion. 

The latest and most laughable aspect of this whole affair was Mubarak's reservations in selecting Dr. Shabiyr as the new prime minister to head the proposed Palestinian national unity government.  In response, the Palestinians disgusted by Mubarak unfortunate meddling, have finally wised up by expressing their utter indifference to Mubarak's silly objections. One can gauge the extent of the marginalizing and dismal failure of his policies by the example of Mr. Mish`al, the de facto head of the Hamas organization in Damascus, who has totally ignored the repeated invitations, or better yet, "summons" to come to Cairo for consultations. Mish`al knows all too well not to fall into the trap laid for him, as his own security would be seriously compromised.  In the eyes of the Palestinians and even the Egyptians themselves, Mubarak's Middle East diplomacy has lost all credibility. 





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