As thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip continued to flow into Egypt through the southern Gaza strip city of Rafah border wall, the Israeli government announced that it will continue the siege on the Coastal region.
On Wednesday at dawn the Palestinian resistance destroyed part of the Wall separating the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah from Egypt using five home made bombs, shortly afterwards thousands of Palestinians flocked through and started to buy food and fuel supplies from Egypt to bring back to the Coastal region
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 has been closed by the Israeli and Egyptian troops.
On Friday last week Israel declared all Gaza’s crossings completely closed, with a total ban of fuel and supplies to the coastal region. By Sunday Gaza had no electricity since the Solo Gaza power plant depends on Israeli Fuel. After a widespread international outcry following Israel cutting off all fuel into Gaza, the Israeli authorities agreed to allow fuel and medicine into the Palestinian coastal region on Tuesday for one day only.
Today Egyptian police and troops closed most of the border wall section but continued to allow Palestinians to cross into the country. Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, told reporters in Cairo that he had given orders to his troops to allow Palestinians to cross into Egypt because they were starving. Mubarak said that the troops will return the Palestinians into Gaza after they have shopped for supplies ‘as long as they are not carrying weapons’.
Hassam Zaki the spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated Thursday that Egypt will keep the Rafah borders open if the humanitarian crisis continues in the Gaza Strip. Hamas officials asked the Palestinians crossing into Egypt to respect the authority of the Egyptian troops and police.
Hamas has controlled the Gaza strip since June 2007, after several months of bloody infighting between the movement and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.
Meanwhile Israel is totally unhappy with Egypt for allowing Palestinians to shop there and come back into the region. The Israeli Prime Minister Ehod Olmert said Thursday the Israeli siege and attacks on Gaza stay in effect, he added that only a low amount of humanitarian aid and fuel will be allowed into Gaza.
Matan Vilnai the Israeli Defense Minister Deputy, told Israeli media that Israel should stop water, electricity, food and fuel supplies into Gaza, he said that since Gaza now is open to Egypt then Israel do not have responsibility towards the necessary supplies anymore. Israel controls all border crossing into Gaza except the Rafah one; Israel also controls the drinking water and electricity of Gaza.