And now they are ALL under the control of Hamas. No more wasting time with the smuggling of consumer goods; weapons have priority everywhere.
JERUSALEM - The Israeli military bombed hundreds of tunnels during the Gaza war -- to shut down Hamas' weapons-smuggling routes, and to put pressure on Egypt to the militants from getting more. But just days after the battle's end, those tunnels are re-opening, with Hamas in charge.
"Hamas has seized control of all the smuggling tunnels under the Philadelphi Corridor in southern Gaza and has been moving additional arms into the Strip since Operation Cast Lead ended on Sunday morning," the Jerusalem Post reports. Those passages, "are usually run by local Palestinian clans, and Hamas's decision to take control is believed to be part of the group's attempts to reestablish its regime in Gaza. Hamas can now decide what is smuggled into the Strip and give priority to weapons and explosives."
The Israeli’s may have figured the Gazans would have turned on HAMAS, though how they would believe that I can’t understand. Maybe Israeli wants to force Egypt to get more active in blocking the smuggling from the Egyptian side of the border. If so, that shows a remarkable lack of understanding of both the economics of smuggling and the politics of Egypt.
Force was used in much the same way as the Americans tried to “shock and awe” their way to victory in Iraq. It ain’t that easy. Meanwhile, the action has the effect of removing the unlucky, incompetent, and uncommitted from the opposition, leaving a core from which to build that is more capable and more radical.
Think of it as evolution in action.