EGYPT - Planning to Take Control of Gaza?

Arno Froese

Scenes of dozens of Egyptian bulldozers, cranes and trucks entering the Gaza Strip have left some Palestinians wondering whether Egypt is planning to return to the coastal enclave it ruled between 1948 and 1967.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has pledged $500 million to help rebuild the houses and buildings that were destroyed during the fighting.

“It will be hard for Hamas to initiate another round of fighting with Israel when there are many Egyptians inside the Gaza Strip,” one of the sources said. “If Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad start firing rockets at Israel while the Egyptian construction teams are working in the Gaza Strip, the two groups will get into trouble with Egypt.”

“There are many rumors that the Egyptians are planning to return to the Gaza Strip,” said a veteran Palestinian journalist in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave. “Many people here are convinced that the Egyptian-sponsored reconstruction work is part of a plan to pave the way for a permanent Egyptian security presence in the Gaza Strip.”

Until a few years ago, Egypt’s state-controlled media had accused Hamas of helping Muslim terrorists who attacked Egyptian security forces in the Sinai. Hamas has strongly denied the charges, saying it does not meddle in the internal affairs of any Arab country.

“The Egyptians are working to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation and reunite the West Bank with the Gaza Strip,” a Palestinian official said. “That’s why they have invited representatives of several Palestinian factions to Cairo. The Egyptians support the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.”, 7 June 2021

Arno's Commentary

Egypt’s assistance in Gaza is welcomed on both sides.

The first time Gaza is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis 10:19: “And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.” The last time Gaza is mentioned is in Acts 8:26; it was when Philip the evangelist interpreted the writings of the prophet Isaiah, testifying that Jesus is the fulfillment. This resulted in the Ethiopian treasurer asking the question, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (verse 36b).

The Biblical Ethiopia, according to Unger’s Bible Dictionary, could be located somewhere in the modern-day country of Sudan.

Early in Israel’s history, we read of the tribe of Judah conquering Gaza: “Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. And the Lord was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron” (Judges 1:18-19). Amazingly, Judah “could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley.” From that point on, Gaza is often mentioned in relation to Israel’s fiercest enemy, the Philistines (no relation to Palestinians). Today, the problem still exists. Gaza is ruled by Hamas, declared by many countries to be a terrorist organization.

Will Egypt be the peacemaker? The prophet Isaiah has this to say: “Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him” (Isaiah 36:6). 

From a temporary standpoint, however, Egypt’s involvement in Gaza is seen positively by Israel.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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