Thousands of Palestinians protested on Monday at the Salah Ed Deen Gate area, near the border with Egypt, against the Iron Wall Egypt is installing with American support and supervision along its border with Gaza.The protest was called for by the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. Egyptian troops were intensively deployed along the border.
Hamas called for the protest on Sunday and asked its members and supporters to gather along the Rafah Border Terminal to protest the new Iron Wall.
Egypt started the installation of the Iron Wall which also goes deep underground to block the tunnels used for smuggling goods into the besieged coastal region.
Hamas said that this wall is a “wall of injustice and oppression”, and added that it would organize protests against it and against the unjust siege.
The dissolved Hamas-led government in Gaza expressed concern over the Egyptian decision, and said that it intends to contact the Egyptian government to protest it.
The installation of the wall caused further tension along the border between Gaza and Egypt, and also led to sporadic exchanges of fire between Palestinian fighters and Egyptian border policemen.
Egypt intends to install the 10km (6.21 miles) wall along its border with Gaza; its depth will be 30 meters (100 feet).
Egypt defended its decision and said that it is part of its sovereignty, and that the wall also aims at protecting the country from security threats.
Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that this wall is unjustifiable, and demanded Egypt to immediately halt the construction.
Abu Zuhri added that this wall will strangle the residents and would cause a real catastrophe in the coastal region.
Khaled Mashal, head of the Hamas Political Bureau in Syria, stated that this wall is “a new war against the resistance in Gaza”.
In an interview with the Al Aqsa TV, Mashal added that UNRWA Commissioner, Karen Abu Zeid, described the Wall as more dangerous that the Bar Lev Line.
The Bar Lev line was constructed by Israel along the eastern coast of the Suez Canal in Egypt after the Israeli army occupied the Sinai Peninsula during the 1967 six-day war.