Egyptian military block activist aid convoy to Gaza


Egyptian soldiers in north Sinai prevented an aid convoy of activists from reaching the Rafah border crossing with the embattled Palestinian Gaza Strip on Saturday, an AFP correspondent said.

At least 333 Palestinians and three Israelis have died in the unrest, the third conflict to erupt in and around Gaza in seven years.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Categories: Africa, Arab World, Egypt, Gaza

12 replies

  1. I really cannot understand Egypt’s behavior in respect of Gaza. They should keep the border open at all times. (Then there would be no need of ‘tunnels’!).

    ‘Third conflict in Gaza in seven years’. Surely that should show that ‘another approach’ is needed. If this conflict just ends as the others did then the fourth conflict will follow in no time.

  2. Rafiq,
    He who wears the shoe feels the pinch. The Egyptians know all about Hamas that is why they have decided to block the crossings. The fact that Egypt has taken the same measure as Israel means that Hamas has a sinister agenda. The crossings were not used to better the lives of the Palestinians but to smuggle arms for attacks on both Israel and Egypt which brought retaliation.
    The crossings should not be reopened until Hamas takes leave of its madness.

    • What would the British say: ‘Poppy-Cock’? The Egyptians can control the border and they can control what gets into Gaza, just like any other international border crossing with custom’s agencies. They can prevent arms getting in if the borders are open better than if they are closed and tunnels are needed. But as usual you do not want to see what you do not want to see.

  3. The Egyptians, that is to say the current Egyptian government run by the dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, came to power in a military coup. The government they ousted was the elected (though growingly unpopular) one of Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Since coming to power, Sisi has, through his security services and judiciary, arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to death hundreds of members and supporters of the MB including Morsi himself. Egyptian courts also, in show trials recently, imprisoned three Al Jazeera journalists, including Australian Peter Greste, for allegedly undermining the state by favouring the MB in their reporting.

    Al Jazeera is financed by Qatar whose rulers are sympathetic to the MB. Sisi, for whom the MB remains the principal political opponent, is allied with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia, like Egypt, are also concerned at the potential threat of the MB undermining their grip on power, and have a history of political disagreements with Qatar as well. Saudi Arabia recently pledged 12 billion dollars in aid to Sisi led Egypt. What does all this have to do with Hamas? Hamas is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Unfortunately for the long suffering Palestinians, the actions of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt suit the interests of Israel and the US. Saudi Arabia is economically wedded to the US through the supply and demand for oil. And both Arab countries have received billions in military aid and/or assistance from the US. Both, through self interest, capably suppress dissent and protest, including such that stems from their population’s anger and solidarity with the Palestinians. It’s win/win all round. The rulers of Saudi and Egypt get to retain absolute power, the US gets access to oil and regional interests by proxy, and Israel gets to do what Israel is doing. Palestinians simply aren’t part of this equation of power, land and resources.

  4. Rashid M,
    El-Sisi came into power through the ballot box claiming about 90% of the votes cast. Not only did his victory eclipse that of Morsi but was devoid of the controversy that trailed Morsi into the presidency. The truth of Morsi’s unpopularity came during the demonstrations which built up to his having to leave power. For days millions of Egyptians swarmed the street calling for Morsi to go and when he finally did millions more jubilated. When pro and anti-Morsi supporters clashed, it was always the former who were overwhelmed. Vastly out numbered everywhere, the pro-Morsi supporters did what they knew and still know best: a resort to violence. Bombs were exploded to kill those they could not match in numerical strength.
    For the short period he was in power, Morsi set about dismantling democratic institutions and stifled freedom of the press.He allowed his MB to run amok and it became a nightmare to non orthodox muhammadans; killing, maiming and destroying with impunity. No body was held accountable.
    The MB and, by necessary extension, Hamas, engage in activities which are inimical to the interest of Egypt. It will be insane to allow both to thrive on Egyptian soil.
    Qatar is no less pro- America than Egypt or Saudi Arabia being that it has an American military base unlike Egypt.
    The leadership of Hamas does not have the interest of the Gazans at heart. While they constantly provoke the closure of the crossings and bring hardship to the ordinary folks, the leadership of Hamas live abroad where they are insulated from whatever suffering is said to exist in Gaza. For instance, Abu Marzouk, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau resides in Cairo where what goes on in Gaza is not felt by him.
    Amazingly, there are those who support such hypocrisy.

  5. Rashid I fully agree with you. America alone can stop this Massacre of Palestinians by just threatening to stop financial and military aid to Israel if they do not stop these incursions and air attacks in Gaza.
    Saudia should think of Islamic Brotherhood and help the needy and not to oppose them for political reasons this behaviour is helping Israel which is real enemy of Islam.

  6. @Namelee

    I stand corrected. You are right, Sisi did indeed eventually win overwhelmingly in the ballot in May. Though his initial actions as commander of the military were to overthrow the government of Morsi and assume control until elections. Time will tell if he can retain such support or whether corruption and a reduction of political and press freedom will characterise his rule as it has those before him. The initial signs are not promising.

    The narrative from the Israel cheer squad currently is that Hamas violence is the single obstacle to peace, whilst simultaneously completely ignoring the Palestinian Authority. And having annexed Gaza from the West Bank, and (through settler only roads) having effectively annexed the West Bank into disjointed cantonments or South African apartheid style ‘bantustans’, Israel wants us to believe that such actions have nothing to do with the violence from groups such as Hamas. Rather, such an occupation, besiegement, subjugation and deprivation of land and liberty is apparently simply a benign irrelevance. No causality whatsoever.

    But I take particular issue with your inference that Hamas alone is the inciter, targetter of civilians, desirer of the ‘other’s’ destruction etc. The mainstream media portrayal of Israel as the moral, democratic victim who wishes for nothing more than peace and goodwill to prevail, is a thin veneer of dishonesty which fails even cursory scrutiny.

  7. “This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started…What’s so horrifying about understanding that the entire Palestinian people is the enemy?”

    “Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.”

    “They have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists.”

    “They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists.” – Ayelet Shaked, former director of the office of Benjamin Netanyahu, former director of Likud, currently a senior figure in the Jewish Home Party which is part of the ruling coalition – 1st July 2014

    A day after this was posted and liked by thousands of supporters on Facebook, Palestinian teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair was kidnapped and burnt to death by Israelis. The following day, the beating and arrest of his cousin, US citizen Tariq Khdeir, was captured on film.

  8. The Palestinians and the Jews are all prepared to die over the land they both claim.

    We, the rest of the world are prepared to stand on the sidelines watching to see which side will eventually win.

    Careful though, the fire may touch you!

  9. I disagree. Land is certainly a central element to the conflict and any future negotiations, but to characterise every Palestinian and Israeli as willing to die for it is an overstatement. Both sides have people who are willing to make concessions for peace, and both sides have their extremists (religious or otherwise) who are not. Most from both sides just desire the same as each other – normal, peaceful lives.

    The current situation though is not one of parity. One side occupies and besieges the other. One side enjoys free movement for its citizens and the free movement of goods and trade, whilst the other is forcibly denied this by military might. One side labels the absence of violent resistance from the other as ‘peace’, whilst the other cannot escape the daily brutality and injustice of occupation and besiegement, regardless of whether the resisters amongst them desist from such behaviour.

    There are those from “the rest of the world” who simply watch; there are those who support self interests; there are also those who advocate for justice where they see an absence of it.

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