Despite Danger, Activists Stream to Gaza From Egypt

Article Summary
Despite continuous aerial bombardment, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza has experienced heavy traffic over the past few days. Many Gazans returning home are being joined by Egyptian activists eager to show their solidarity with the Palestinian people, reports Hussam Hendi.

The director of the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing, Lt. Col. Khaled al-Shaer, said that since the aggression on the Gaza Strip began, the border crossing has witnessed the entry of dozens of Palestinians.

He added that the percentage of those entering is higher than those leaving the Gaza Strip, which confirms that the Palestinian people would rather be in the Gaza Strip than anywhere else.

Shaer told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he doesn’t have any accurate statistical data on the number and ages of travelers to Gaza, adding that he believes that they are from all age groups.

He continued, “The Palestinian people don’t have any problems with receiving hundreds of [Egyptian] persons showing solidarity with Gaza. However, the Egyptian side is requiring the approval of the security services before they are allowed to pass through.”

Shaer stressed that the solidarity convoy of revolutionary youth and political forces that entered Gaza on Sunday [Nov. 18] wasn’t coordinated in advance, but spontaneous. This has caused some concern, as a large number of people entered Gaza under sustained aerial bombardment. This is particularly troubling given that the coordination with and prior approval of the Egyptian secret services had usually happened before the Palestinian side was notified, in order to provide a security presence for the guests.

Shaer noted that any movement in the streets of Gaza is considered a target for Israeli jets, whether that person is a part of a news crew or an aid convoy.

Found in: gaza, arab-israeli conflict

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