For understandable reasons governments in Europe and the Middle East have been focused on political developments in Egypt this week. For less defensible reasons, many governments have also been focused on Israel’s announcement that it plans to build more housing in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
But meanwhile, an event of critical importance is getting less attention than it should. This is the reopening of the Gaza smuggling tunnels, through which rockets and missiles of Iranian origin missiles get to Hamas. This story in the Independent of London is typical and says business in the smuggling tunnels is “booming.”
Unless the tunnels are blocked and the border between Egyptian Sinai and Gaza is policed, another Gaza war surely lies ahead. President Morsi and the Egyptian military must make a decision about this soon, and American lawmakers should keep this in mind as they review military aid to Egypt. Many internationmal political developments are difficult to understand or to predict, but this one is clear and certain: unless the resupply of terrorist groups in Gaza with rockets and missiles is prevented, it will occur, will lead to more attacks on Israel, and will sooner or later result in another Israeli counterattack. The time diplomats have spent in the last week lecturing Israel about settlement construction would have been better spent figuring out how to get Egypt to police its border and prevent another war.