Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, August 2013
Palestinians Demand End of Gaza Siege by Israel and Egypt
Rizqa: Rafah crossing did not cause any harm to Egypt
[ 23/08/2013 - 10:40 AM ]
The Palestinian government in Gaza demanded the Egyptian authorities to reopen the Rafah crossing before the Palestinian citizens, stressing on its rejection to use the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing as a substitute for the Rafah crossing.
Youssef Rizqa, political adviser to Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, told Quds Press that the continued closure of the Rafah crossing for the fourth consecutive day exacerbates the suffering of hundreds of Palestinians who are forced to leave the Strip either for treatment, study or work.
Rizqa said the Rafah crossing did not cause any harm to Egypt, pointing out that the number of travelers through the crossing reached during the rule of Morsi was 1300 per day. However, since the overthrow of the government, the number of travelers through the crossing did not exceed 150 per day, before its closure on Monday.
He stressed that the Palestinian government in Gaza refuses to adopt Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, in north of Gaza, as a substitute for the Rafah crossing, warning that Beit Hanoun crossing may turn into "a trap for Palestinians" as it is under the control of the occupation forces.
Concerning the crossings agreement between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli side in November 2005; Rizqa said that this agreement ended in 2006, stressing that the Rafah crossing is an Egyptian - Palestinian crossing and that there is no place for a third party in it.
A vigil in Gaza demanding lifting the naval blockade
[ 23/08/2013 - 12:02 PM ]
The head the Popular Committee against the Siege on Gaza, MP Jamal Khudari called for sending more convoys and ships to Gaza to break the Israeli siege, imposed for the 6th year.
Khudari said on Thursday morning during a press conference to mark the fifth anniversary of the entry of the first two ships to Gaza to break the siege: "The blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip has not been lifted yet. The citizens have been suffering in light of the closure of the crossings, and the prevention of entry of many necessary materials."
He continued: "It is our right to own a seaport and freely enjoy fishing," pointing to the suspension of constructions at the port of Gaza, and to the repeated attacks against the fishermen.
Khudari called for opening the Rafah crossing as soon as possible; to avoid the exacerbation of the humanitarian situation in the Strip, and added: "A lot of projects in the Gaza Strip have been disrupted, in addition to the severe shortage of building materials for the reconstruction of what was destroyed by the Israeli occupation during the last two wars on the Strip."
He denounced the Arab and international silence regarding the Gaza siege, calling for supporting the Strip and sending convoys in order to alleviate the suffering of the citizens.
For his part; fishermen Nizar Ayesh stressed that the occupation has been tightening its restrictions on Palestinian fishermen.
"57 fishermen were arrested at sea, and more than 8 fishing boats were confiscated," Ayesh said, pointing to that the Israeli battleships repeatedly open fire on Palestinian fishermen's boats.
He pointed out that a ship will soon leave Gaza towards Europe, adding: "We will send a message to the world that Gaza is still under siege, and that it is able to confront the occupation."
Many activists and youth organizations participated in the vigil that calls for breaking the siege. They raised slogans condemning the blockade and demanding giving the fishermen their rights and providing them with the sufficient space for fishing.
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