Skip to main content

Solidarity Visits to Gaza Dwindle

International solidarity delegations to Gaza have struggled to enter the territory since Egypt's tightening of its blockade, cutting off a vital source of essential medical assistance.  
Palestinian children hoping to cross into Egypt, look out of a bus window at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip October 8, 2013. Egypt partially reopened its border crossing with the Gaza Strip for four days on Tuesday for the humanitarian needs of patients seeking treatment, and students studying outside of Gaza, a Palestinian official said. REUTERS/Ahmed Zakot (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SOCIETY IMMIGRATION) - RTX143OA
Read in 

GAZA CITY — Hamas officials would once ask visiting international solidarity delegates to bring medicine and supplies, which are scarce, to the Gaza Strip. The international visitors, who included pro-Palestinian activists, lawmakers and former diplomats, would meet with Hamas officials in Gaza and extend invitations for them to visit their (mostly Muslim) countries. While in Gaza, both sides would draft plans for drumming up support for Gaza in Islamic and European capitals.

Since the overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in July, however, such delegations no longer travel to Gaza, and local Hamas leaders have struggled to get out. Egyptian restrictions on movement through the Rafah border crossing with Gaza has stifled international support for the besieged Palestinian enclave. The Hamas government’s Governmental Committee for Receiving Delegates announced that 27 delegations and more than 340 solidarity activists had visited Gaza in June alone, the month prior to Morsi’s overthrow.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.