Gaza’s suffering aggravated as Egypt re-shuts Rafah crossing

2 Dec

10822321_890891017589426_505756871_nPalestinians waiting at the Rafah crossing for Egypt to open the border to Gaza

By Yousef Ghaben, correspondent, Gaza, 2 December 2014

For more than eight years, Israel has been imposing a suffocating siege on the Gaza strip causing severe suffering and limited access to basic life requirements , particularly travel for medical treatment and study.

Since then, Rafah crossing is the only exit through which the Gazans can get to the outside world. Yet this all changed on October 25, when the Egyptian authorities declared an emergency for 3 months in the Sinai peninsula following an attack that left 30 soldiers dead.

Egypt’s decision to close the Rafah crossing aggravates the suffering of the Palestinian people who seek treatment and study abroad , and also for those Palestinians who seek return to Gaza.

Over 2500 Palestinians have been stuck on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing for more than 40 days before Egyptian authorities open the terminal in one direction to let them get into Gaza last week. Moreover, there are some 1000 Palestinians stuck inside Egypt and in other countries.

Closure of the only terminal in the Gaza strip raised questions over the alternatives the Palestinian can take in case the current situation continues, such as going through Israeli crossings.

However, the Palestinians believe the suffering they will go through in Israeli crossings will be worst for they will be exposed to the Israel exploitation and detention.

Therefore, the real influential alternatives left for the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip are free Palestinian exists controlled by the Palestinian and only the Palestinians. So, the Palestinians must continue to demand the construction of the seaport and the airport included as in the understandings of the truce declared between the Palestinian factions and Israel post 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza strip the last summer.

The current punitive Egyptian measures in the Rafah crossing and along the Palestinian-Egyptian borders are basically undertaken for Israel’s security as the Egyptian president stated to FRANCE 24 TV .

It needs not too much intelligence to realize that the ituation at the Rafah crossing will not change or get better in the near future, and the siege imposed on the Gaza strip will be tightened more and more by Egypt this time.

The internal Palestinian rift impacts on the Rafah crossing dilemma as the Palestinian authority led by Abbas is absolutely satisfied with the measures taken by Egypt relating tightening the siege on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The PA representative in Egypt Jamal Shobaki stated to Alresalah paper on Wednesday that Egyptian measures in border areas with Gaza are understandable and related to security dimensions.

The Egyptian punitive measures go so far as an Egyptian court discusses a lawsuit filed to cancel the Rafah crossing permanently and the decision will be issued in December 15.

The Egyptian position over the crossing of Rafah is something else as the Egyptians deem the Gaza Strip as a credit they use to negotiate Israel with. Yet, in the light of these contradictions, the suffering of the Palestinian people in the besieged Gaza strip will continue.

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