debkafile Exclusive: High alert at American Sinai monitors HQ, Egyptian security forces and Israel for Hamas mass rally Sept 1 to smash through Raf

Hamas plans to use 100,000 protesters against the hardships in Gaza, which are blamed on Egypt’s closure of the Rafah outlet, as a battering ram to break through the crossing Saturday and link up with fellow Palestinians in Egyptian N. Sinai. Hamas will then seize both sides of the border including a part of Sinai. Cairo has cautioned Gaza’s Hamas rulers that beefed-up Egyptian units are under orders to shoot the first Palestinian trespasser crossing through.
Egypt, which closed the Rafah gateway after the Hamas takeover of Gaza two months ago, has set up a two-line deployment between Rafah and El Arish to halt the Palestinian influx. Some units are armed with gear for crowd dispersal.
The US National Guard unit manning the Multinational Force Organization’s Al Gorah headquarters in el Arish has declared a high alert and pulled in reinforcements from Sharm el-Sheikh after receiving intelligence of a plan to attack them under cover of the Gaza demonstration. Their commander was warned by Egyptian officials that “events highly dangerous to the region are expected Saturday.”
Israel has also built up strength at the Kerem Shalom crossing to Gaza and Egypt opposite the Philadelphi border strip.
Fears of extreme violence overtaking Gaza Saturday have been fanned by a Fatah decision, revealed here by debkafile‘s military sources, to take advantage of Hamas’ preoccupation with crashing the Rafah crossing to recover positions grabbed by Hamas two months ago. Fatah is organizing its own rallies in the Gaza Strip Saturday for two purposes: One, to divert demonstrators from the Hamas rally and, two, to show defiance to the Hamas government’s ban on unlicensed Fatah demonstrations and threat to fire on such rallies. Fatah will not ask a government it does not recognize for any such permit. Therefore, Gaza may face a new flare-up of gun battles.
Wednesday, debkafile reported:
Conditions in Gaza are so desperate that Hamas leaders believe they have nothing to lose by extreme measures to break the siege – even at the risk of heavy casualties from Egyptian fire. To avoid a bloodbath Saturday, Cairo would be forced to resume contacts with Hamas leaders. This would create a breach in the international boycott against them.
For some weeks, Gaza Palestinian groups have targeted the crossings into Israel with terrorist tactics as well as missile and mortar fire. Israeli authorities are waiting to see how Cairo resolves the dilemma between smashing the Hamas protest by force or renewed dialogue. Hamas will only talk if concessions to ease its isolated state are offered, but this would have a plus side for Israel: Cairo could pick up its mediation effort on behalf of the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit, who has been held in Gaza for more than 14 months. Since that effort was dropped, there has been no progress for his release.

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