Duplicitous double dealing.

Author:Frykberg, Mel
Position:CURRENT AFFAIRS - EGYPT ending conflicts between Fatah and Hamas

EGYPT HAS SUCCESSFULLY served as an arbitrator between the Palestinians and Israelis in the past, but reattempts to negotiate a peace between Fatah and Hamas, as the two sides repeatedly tried to settle their differences at gunpoint over the last few months, have led to the deaths of scores of Hamas and Fatah fighters and an inevitable number of civilians caught in the crossfire.

But is Egypt an honest and impartial peace broker? Numerous reports in the media have claimed that convoys of trucks, carrying weapons bound for Fatah, have crossed from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula into the Gaza Strip and this couldn't be done without the blessing and knowledge of both the Egyptian and Israeli governments. The Egyptians have also been training officers from the Fatah movement along with the Americans.

It appears that a minority within Fatah may be double-crossing the Egyptians. According to the Egyptian paper, Al Masriyoun, Hamas recently turned over to the Egyptian authorities substantial parts of the intelligence information that fell into its hands when it overran the Fatah-controlled security headquarters in Gaza city before resuming control of the Gaza Strip.

According to sources at the newspapers, the documents include information about the alleged cooperation between members of Fatah, who subsequently fled the Strip and moved to the West Bank, and the Israeli internal intelligence service, the Shin Bet. Together they allegedly organised, with the intelligence services of Israel and America, attempts to inundate Egypt with drugs smuggled from Israel via Gaza, and to distribute hundreds of thousands of counterfeit dollars in tourist areas of Sinai, to damage tourism in the area. The documents also refer to their alleged role in inciting Bedouins of the Sinai to involve their people in smuggling "terrorists" into Sinai to undertake operations against tourist installations there, both to hurt Egyptian tourism for the benefit of Israeli tourism, and also to cause trouble between Egypt and Hamas on the assertion that these persons were followers of Hamas.

The documents also show the involvement of Fatah members in bringing down a number of top Hamas people, via the placing of advanced electronic equipment usable by Israeli planes to determine their location and kill them, as happened in the case of Ahmed Yasin, Dr Abdulaziz Al Rantisi and others. They also tell of their involvement with Mossad in administering slow poison to Yasser Ararat in order to...

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