Egyptian police and troops attacked the protest using water canon and batons, medical sources reported that at least 20 women suffered injures so far and had to be moved to hospitals inside the Gaza Strip.

The protest is on going and the protesters are pushing forward to cross the terminal to get to the Egyptian side in an attempt to break the Israeli siege.

The Rafah crossing, located in the southern side of the Gaza strip, is the only way for Palestinians to leave or enter the region, since June 2007, the crossing was completely closed by the Israeli and Egyptian troops.

On Thursday last week, the Israeli government decided to keep pressure on the Gaza Strip by further attacking Palestinian resistance groups. On Friday Israel declared all Gaza’s crossings completely closed, with a total ban of fuel and supplies to the coastal region.

On Sunday evening a general power black out struck the coastal region since the solo Gaza power plant relies on Israeli fuel to supply Gaza with electricity. Israeli security officials admitted that the impact of Israel’s complete cut-off of the Gaza Strip were ‘worse than they expected when they put the plan in place.’ The 1.5 million residents in the Gaza Strip are once again in a total blackout, an event that has become commonplace since Israel’s bombing of the Gaza power plant in 2006.

On Monday the Israeli Defense Minister Ehod Barak ordered his army to step up the siege imposed on the coastal region to a new level. The new orders include that the Israeli army will stop allowing electrical devices like laptops MP3, MP4, and GPS devices which are used by media agencies working in the Gaza Strip.

Barak stated that the new set of restrictions is intended to stop the ruling Hamas party of controlling and running the Gaza Strip. Hamas, however, won the Palestinian democratic elections in 2006, and again in June 2007, after several months of bloody internal struggle with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah Party, Hamas took total control of the coastal region.

Israeli attacks last week left 37 Palestinian dead and 70 injured, since late September 2007 the Palestinians who died due to the lack of medical help due to the Israeli siege on Gaza by mid January has reached 75.