Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

January 2, 2008 Egyptian About Face

The Egyptian government reversed itself today and allowed the Palestinians returning from the Haj to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing.  This decision was made despite a clear agreement with Israel not to allow that to happen.  Egyptian leader Mubarak it would seem, was unable to stand the growing pressure from the Arab media and the threats of demonstrations.  Hamas had a very potent public relations weapon: the images of “poor pilgrims” not being allowed back after fulfilling a religious obligation.  This is a major victory for Hamas and a serious set-back for Egyptian Israeli relations.
It turns out that the terror attack that killed two Israeli soldiers who were hiking near Hebron was not carried out by the Islamic Jihad, but by a Palestinian policeman.  The attacker after returning home, and discovering that he was being sought by the Israeli army, surrendered himself to the Palestinian Authority.  He preferred the Palestinian jail to an Israeli one.  So once again, Israelis were killed by guns supplied by Israel to the PA. 
Prime Minister Olmert continues to be a masterful politician.  He has resurrected the Ministry of Religious Affairs.  One of the few accomplishments of the Shinui party has been reversed by a politician craven to hold on to office.  Who has he given it to? To Shas, of course.  Why now? Well could it have something to do with the publication of the Winograd commission report in a week or so?