Hamas calls on Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing

Hamas calls on Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing
Wed Aug 21, 2013 19:37:04

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has urged Egypt to reopen the Rafah border crossing, dismissing any intervention in the neighboring country’s internal affairs.

“The Palestinian people, the people of Gaza, must not pay the price for any problems or differences inside Egypt,” said Ghazi Hamad, deputy foreign minister of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.

Cairo has accused Hamas of interfering in Egyptian affairs and suggested that Palestinians might be helping Islamist militants active in the Sinai Peninsula, where 25 policemen were killed in an ambush on Monday.

Thousands of Palestinians, including students and patients seeking medical treatment, have been unable to travel to Egypt since the Rafah border crossing was shut.

Hundreds of Palestinians have also been stranded outside the Gaza Strip by the upheaval that has shaken Egypt since the military ousted elected president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 after mass protests against the Muslim Brotherhood leader’s rule.

“Gaza people have enough problems. This crossing should be named the crossing of humiliation and not Rafah,” said Mai Jarada, a business student in Tunisia who attended a wedding in Gaza and now cannot leave the Palestinian enclave.

At Rafah, the main window to the world for the 1.7 million Palestinians in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, several dozen people waited in vain on Wednesday to cross the border into Egypt’s Sinai.

Some 1,200 Gaza residents used to enter Egypt daily before Morsi’s ouster, but the figure has dropped to only 300 since he was deposed.


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