Egypt Reopens Gaza
Border Crossing After Tense Delay, Despite US-Israeli Pressure
Egypt reopens Gaza border after tense delay
Published today (updated) 04/06/2011 14:14
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) --
Egypt reopened its Rafah border with Gaza several hours later than
scheduled on Saturday, causing tension as hundreds of Palestinians
waited to cross.
Several buses queued at the Egyptian gate, and
dozens of Palestinians tried to break through the crossing into Egypt,
Egyptian security officers lined up carrying
clubs preparing to stop any border breach, onlookers told Ma'an.
Ayoub Abu Sha'ar, head of the Palestinian police unit at Rafah, said
phone calls to the Egyptian side went unanswered, and Egyptian
authorities made no official announcement that the crossing would be
According to a security source in Egypt, the opening of
the crossing was delayed for works which were to have been completed on
Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing on May 28, allowing the
free movement of Palestinians from Gaza for the first time in four
years. The terminal is the only crossing which Israel does not control.
However, floods of travelers overwhelmed the crossing, and the
situation escalated into a crisis within days as officials traded
accusations over the responsibility for huge queues at the terminal.
Hamas officials were also angered by Egypt's publication of a
blacklist, banning 5,000 Palestinians from traveling.
Egyptian authorities met with Palestinian officials and agreed to limit
use of the crossing to 400 travelers per day.
Palestine in Cairo, Mohammad Arafat, said Wednesday that
Egypt was under intense pressure from Israel and
the US to close the border crossing. He said Egypt was reviewing
the names of those blacklisted from travel.
Some Palestinians on
the blacklist said they would appeal to Egyptian courts. They said the
decision was based on inaccurate information received by the former
Egyptian state security.
The decision to permanently reopen the
Rafah crossing came more than three months after former Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak (and the darling puppet of Israel) resigned
under pressure following 18 days of massive street protests against his
Israeli ministers slammed the reopening of the border,
warning that Palestinian resistance groups would be able to move weapons
and people freely through the crossing.
The border has remained
largely shut since June 2006 when Israel imposed a tight blockade on
Gaza Strip after the elected Palestinian government there refused to
recognize the Israeli theft of Palestinian lands.
Nations has called the blockade illegal and repeatedly demanded it be
lifted. However, the governments which are under Zionist control have
participated in a shameful siege against 1.7 million Palestinian refugee
for no other reason than insisting on their freedom and their rights.
AFP contributed to this report.
Egyptian Authorities Close Rafah Terminal Without
[ 04/06/2011 - 10:26 AM ]
The Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah border terminal with Gaza
Strip on Saturday without giving any reason for the step, Ayoub Abu
Sha'ar, the director of the Rafah terminal police, said.
He said in a press statement published by the Palestinian Interior
Ministry’s website that the Egyptian authorities refused to allow entry
of busses carrying passengers into the Egyptian side of the terminal.
Abu Sha'ar said that the step came as a surprise and that the
Egyptians would not answer inquires by the Palestinian side regarding
Hundreds of Palestinian passengers have gathered in front of the
Rafah crossing waiting for any new development allowing them access,
most of the Palestinians expressed frustration at the Egyptian
Abu Sha'ar said that the crossing worked very well in the first three
days after its opening but work returned to slow motion over the past
three days until its complete stop today without any prior notice.
Palestinian Protestors Break Into The Rafah Terminal
Saturday June 04, 2011 13:51 by George Rishmawi - IMEMC & Agencies
Dozens of Palestinian protestors from the Gaza Strip broke into the
Rafah terminal that links between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, Saturday
The Egyptian authorities have suddenly decided to close
the terminal without any coordination with the Palestinian Authority.
Egypt has opened it at the beginning of June.
A source in ruling
Hamas party in the Gaza Strip said at least 180 passenger who has been
waiting for several hours on the busses to cross to Egypt broke into the
gate of the terminal, as they were surprised of this sudden closure of
The source added there is maintenance work being
carried out in the Egyptian terminal. However, no comment has been made
by the Egyptian Authorities yet on this issue.
government of Hamas has expressed complains earlier this week that
despite the claimed ease by the Egyptian government the situation
remains hard at the terminal, and passengers need a long time to cross
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