Egypt relaxes exodus of Gazans into its territory
Filed Under: Politics | Posted: 01/24/2008 at 9:37PM
Comments | Region: Egypt
Thousands of hungry Palestinians have succeeded finally in crossing to Egypt’s northern Sinai region, after masked gunmen believed to be Hamas militants planted land mines to destroy the 7-mile long border wall that separates Gaza City from Egypt.
As a result, the more than 700 police force assigned to guard the border wall did nothing to avert the mass exodus of people who streamed fast into the town of El Arish to buy all kinds of food and other basic commodities that they needed. Reports said the area was transformed into chaos after Palestinians have used all means to get to where the goods were immediately available for the taking. Then, they went back to where they came from, after buying the goods that they needed in Egypt.
Most of these people went hungry and with nothing to buy in Gaza City, when the Hamas Group had succeeded in overthrowing the security forces loyal to Paletinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
However, it was ironical to learn that some of those who crossed into Egypt have expressed intention not to return to Gaza in light of the economic and political crises that hound the Gaza administration. Immediately, the economic impacts were felt after the local stores in El Arish had run out of stocks, as buyers continued to queue up in need more of basic stuffs to bring back home to Gaza.
Political analysts said the situation in the Rafah Crossing was unavoidable considering that many Palestinians were scavenging for food and other basic commodities for many days, after Israel had effected a blockade at its border with Gaza, thus preventing many Gazans from getting the much needed food and other supplies from international relief organizations. However, the blockade only eased down when the launching of home-made Kassam rockets into Israel’s southern territory was reduced that it allowed some relief goods into Gaza.
Egyptian government officials have yet to decide on what to do with the metal border fence that was fell down in the Rafah Crossing. But many Gazans are aware that the situation would not take long before Egyptian authorities will again rebuild the border wall, a move that will surely bar many Gazans from crossing again.