Daily Israel Report

Gazan Sick Protest Egyptian Siege

Hamas-organized protest belies blaming of Israel, demands passage for medical treatment through Egypt's closed Rafah Crossing.
By Dalit Halevi, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/16/2014, 8:07 PM

Gazan sick protest at Rafah crossing (file)
Gazan sick protest at Rafah crossing (file)
Flash 90

Dozens of sick and disabled residents of Gaza protested the Egyptian siege on Saturday, demonstrating across from Egypt's Rafah Crossing leading to Sinai. Their demand -- passage to Egypt for ongoing medical treatment in the Nile state and other countries.

Roughly 1,500 sick and injured people in Gaza are waiting for the reopening of the Rafah Crossing, which has been closed for 36 days, reports a spokesperson for the protest group.

The spokesperson revealed the information to journalists in front of the Egyptian embassy in Gaza, representing the protest that was organized by the terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza.

The spokesperson blamed Egypt for, in his words, aiding the "enemy," namely Israel, by besieging the Hamas-enclave even as it is "struck" by Israel. The man further called on the international community to pressure Israel and Egypt to open the crossings.

Gaza's protest came the same Saturday that the terror-stronghold's lone power plant was turned off due to a fuel shortage.

Aside from the Egyptian siege, which has cut off smuggling tunnels from Sinai to Gaza, the blackout was caused by rivalry between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Hamas refuses to pay exorbitant fuel taxes to the PA on fuel coming through Israel.

After Gazan terrorists rained nearly 100 rockets on Israel starting last Wednesday, the Kerem Shalom Crossing was closed last Thursday, leading Hamas to quickly blame Israel for the power outage.

However, Israel noted the crossing is normally closed on Friday and Saturday, meaning it was only closed for one day in response to the unprecedented upsurge in attacks. The crossing reopened on Sunday to alleviate the terror-enclave's energy crisis.

The protest highlights Egypt's role behind Gaza's situation, despite the consistent blaming of Israel. Just two weeks ago an Egyptian court banned Hamas for its alleged role in terror attacks in the chaotic Sinai Peninsula.