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Egypt Opens Border to Gaza

by ask Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 08:43:20 AM EST

Finally a little piece of good news.

Egypt opens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

AFP - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday ordered the opening of the Rafah border crossing to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, the official MENA agency reported.

Egypt opens Gaza border after Israel ship clash

GAZA, June 1 (Reuters) - Egypt opened its border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, letting Palestinians cross until further notice amid a storm of international criticism of Israel's blockade of the enclave, officials in Egypt and Gaza said.

Mubarak has been a loyal lapdog to US and Israeli interests and has been handsomely rewarded with extensive economic aid.
But the pressure cooker which is the Egyptian population would not accept anything less. The atrocities have become to blatant.

No time to hash this diary out any further - real work interfering.

XP from BT.
by ask on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 08:43:49 AM EST
First accounts from returning activists here.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 08:46:14 AM EST
A slightly more expansive article from the Hindu Times:

It will also receive injured and ill Palestinians who require to pass into Egypt for medical help.

The decision to open the border, made in an order from President Hosni Mubarak, comes after Israel lethally stormed the "Freedom Flotilla" that was carrying aid to the besieged Gaza Strip.

On Monday, Egypt summoned the Israeli ambassador in Cairo to express their condemnation of the attack that left at least 10 people killed.
In recent months Egypt has been accused of building an underground barrier beneath the border, in a bid to cut the number of smugglers' tunnels between Rafah and the Gaza Strip.

by ask on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 08:46:40 AM EST
by ask on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 08:48:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Was Egypt asked to open borders to defuse the situation? If so who asked? US? Israel? Turkey? Is Egypt trying to stave off civil war?

I don't know why Egypt has changed its policy, but I'll take it.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 09:53:50 AM EST
I do not have the answers to your queries, but suspect it was an executive decision by Mubarak to defuse domestic tensions. See the quote from the Hindu Times above.

Also, via the Guardian Israel flotilla raid - fallout live (scroll down to the 1.25 pm time stamp):

In one of the first signs of fallout from the Gaza Freedom Flotilla incident Egypt has announced that it is opening the the southern border of the Gaza Strip at Rafah to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

The crossing normally opens once a month for a few days. The sudden decision seems to show Egyptian embarrassment at Arab charges of complicity with the the Israeli blockade.

President Hosni Mubarak is deeply hostile to Hamas, which has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's largest - and semi-outlawed - opposition group.

by ask on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 10:08:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brilliant news, any idea if this is just a temporary thing or "permanent" ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 10:01:00 AM EST
That's the big question: will it stay open or is this a temporary fix until the heat blows over. We all remember the Gaza Freedom March and the Viva Palestina convoy that was blocked last January, and then the building of a metal barrier to curb smuggling.

George Galloway, director of the Viva Palestina convoy, when arrested and flown out of Eqypt, called Mubarek a tinfoil dictator, which he is.

by shergald on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 11:57:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The truth can make you free, but it can also get you arrested and make you persona non grata.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 02:00:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a tactical move by Egypt to blunt (accurate) criticism that it has been complicit in the blockade of Gaza since the beginning.

From what I understand they have not flung the border open, but are letting specific kinds of people & goods cross.  Egypt does this periodically, most recently two weeks ago.

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Tue Jun 1st, 2010 at 07:09:26 PM EST

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