Graves of Jewish Soldiers from World War I Found in Gaza

The current war has yielded some ancient archaeological discoveries, which we’ve been covering in these daily Editors’ Picks. It’s also revealed some more modern ones. Troy Fritzhand writes:

Soldiers in the IDF’s 188th Brigade were surprised to find Jewish gravestones during fighting in the Gaza Strip. According to reports in Hebrew media, the soldiers were operating in the central Gaza town of al-Maazi when they noticed stars of David on some of the tombstones at a cemetery in the town.

The cemetery, it turned out, was one of the fallen British soldiers of World War I who fought in the land of Israel against the Ottoman empire some 110 years ago. . . . One of the soldiers there, Lieutenant Colonel Oren, told Hebrew media, “It was damaged a bit in the battles, but it can be restored. We noticed the stars of David on the tombstones and names like Goldreich. We returned after a few days to the place and said kaddish over the graves after many years.”

According to the troops, there are seven Jewish tombstones in the cemetery that was found near a Hamas weapons cache.

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Gaza War 2023, Israeli history, Jewish cemeteries, Jews in the military, World War I

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy