Are The Hostages In Egypt?

by David Mark

Israeli troops have located 700 tunnel shafts in Rafah, 50 of which are said to be going into Egypt.

Israel has long maintained that Egypt has been complicit in allowing Hamas to arm themselves using tunnels going from the Sinai to Gaza through Rafah. The IDF has now found the proof and the real reason why Egypt has been against an Israeli operation in Rafah.

Is Sinwar and the Hostages Still In Gaza?

Not only has Egypt been using these tunnels to help Hamas smuggle massive amounts of weapons into Gaza, but this is the first proof found that gives credence to the early rumors that Sinwar and the hostages may not even be in Gaza anymore.

For years Sinai has been de facto ruled by a number of Bedouin clans. These clans run smuggling operations from the Mediterranean and Red Seas across the Sinai desert into Gaza and even into Israel. While it’s true Egypt has troops in Sinai to “crack down” on the smuggling, The Egyptian army is more or less in bed with the smugglers, as long as they get a cut.

For El Sisi, weaponizing Hamas and turning a blind eye to Bedouin autonomy in the Sinai keeps the Muslim Brotherhood, which Hamas is part of distracted and Israel weakened. Egypt’s economy may be faltering, but the army remains intact and ready for the day Israel is vulnerable enough to be defeated.

The 50 tunnels going into Egypt indicate that it is possible that Sinwar and the hostages might have not only fled into Sinai, but further afield. Once in Sinai, Hamas friendly Bedouin tribes would be able to smuggle them anywhere in the Middle East. This new possibility may mean that Sinwar and hostages may have moved beyond Israel’s reach – even as far as Qatar or Iran. While this may seem farfetched, once in Sinai, anything is possible.

If Egypt cannot ensure that it in fact wants to crack down on Hamas’ use of tunnels from Egyptian territory into Gaza, Israel will now have to consider a change of the status of the Sinai – something provided for in the Israel-Egypt peace agreement.

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