Site Navigation

Israel bans Egyptian convoy from Gaza

Despite public claims Mubarak continues to support the blockade

20. June 2010
Popular Egyptian Convoy to break the siege of Gaza

A convoy organized by Egypt’s political forces took off to Rafah, 11 June, in an effort to end the blockade imposed on Gaza since 2007.

Carrying approximately 310 passengers -including workers, students, public figures and activists- the convoy was packed with symbolic food supplies which the besieged strip is deprived of, as a result of the Israeli-imposed siege and Egypt’s refusal to allow these banned items through. The convoy was co-organized by various Egyptian entities including syndicates; political parties and organizations active in supporting the Palestinian cause.

Our convoy action came in light of Egypt’s decision on 1 June 2010 to “open” the Rafah border crossing “indefinitely.” If applied as spin-doctors marketed it to public opinion, Egypt’s pledge would practically end the siege of Gaza and the suffering of its people, which is why it was hailed by the state-run media as a “master stroke.” Our assumption was that the Rafah border crossing is Gaza’s only exit to the world that’s not directly controlled by the Zionist entity, as it is the only passage that lies on the direct borders between Egypt and the strip. We also assumed that Cairo has a free will and that Egypt exercises its sovereignty on its borders -an issue it selectively emphasizes regarding the besieged Palestinians specifically- and can therefore end Gaza’s blockade, if it chooses to.

But we were surprised upon our arrival to the Rafah border crossing on Friday by the authorities refusal to allow us entry to the strip- which went against Mubarak’s declaration-citing unreal procedural justifications which prompted us to start a protest and a sit-in, in front of the crossing that went on till Saturday noon (12 June 2010). The authorities finally informed us that our entry is conditional upon the approval of the Zionist entity. Prior to that and since the decision to “open” the crossing, the Egyptian authorities denied convoys carrying food supplies to Gaza and much needed construction material, entry to the war-ridden strip. These convoys were stranded in Arish and were advised by the authorities to deliver their aid via the Zionist-controlled crossing in El-Ouga. (We witnessed the banning of the last convoy on the same day we were denied entry on12 June)

This provided evidence of Zionist entity’s control of the Rafah border crossing (which lies between Egypt and the Gaza strip), in full cooperation with the Egyptian authorities as per the semi-secret agreement signed on 1 September 2005, known as the Philadelphi Agreement. The agreement was designed to impose a blockade and strict monitoring of the Egyptian border with Gaza, including the Rafah border crossing with the primary and sole objective of protecting the Zionist entity’s security.

We emphasize here that contrary to official propaganda the Rafah border crossing is closed. It does not allow the entry of food, aid and construction supplies or Palestinian people –with the exception of critically ill patients and humanitarian cases. Ordinary Egyptians, Arabs and other nationalities are obviously not permitted entry through the Rafah crossing which is open only to important media figures, but is closed when the cameras and media representatives are gone.

What happened to us at the Rafah border crossing has only made us more determined to break the siege and insist on full and real opening of the crossing, to nullify the Philadelphi Agreement and the Camp David accords. We call for the signing of an Egyptian-Palestinian border agreement independently from the United States and the Zionist enemy.

The propaganda surrounding the opening of the Rafah border crossing is false. The footage of aid and individuals moving across the crossing is a nothing more than a Zionist-directed play designed only to pent up public anger.