News / Middle East

Gazans Fear Egyptian Political Backlash

Gazans Fear Egyptian Political Backlashi
X
October 03, 2013 7:11 PM
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have suffered in recent months, as the Egyptian government has closed the vital Rafah Crossing for long periods -- blocking thousands who work, study or need medical treatment from going abroad. Egypt says the closures are part of an effort to end militant attacks in the Sinai that have killed more than 100 Egyptian security personnel. VOA' s Scott Bobb reports some Gaza residents believe other motives are behind the move.
Scott Bobb
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip  have suffered in recent months, as the Egyptian government has closed the vital Rafah Crossing for long periods -- blocking thousands who work, study or need medical treatment from going abroad. 

Egypt says the closures are part of an effort to end militant attacks in the Sinai that have killed more than 100 Egyptian security personnel.  But some Gaza residents believe other motives are behind the move.
 
The Rafah Crossing from Gaza to Egypt has been mostly closed since the Egyptian military deposed President Mohamed Morsi and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood in early July.
 
Chaos occurs when the crossing is occasionally opened -- as it was for a few hours a day this week.  Only a few hundred Gazans are allowed across but thousands want to leave in order to work, go to school or get medical care.

Egypt now the dominant player in Gaza
 
Egypt has also closed hundreds of smuggling tunnels.  These were an economic lifeline to Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade since the militant Hamas group took power in Gaza seven years ago.
 
Egypt says militants were using the crossing and the tunnels to stage terrorist attacks in the Sinai,  something which senior Hamas denies Ahmed Yusuf denies.

 "We are not stupid to create problems with a giant force like Egypt.  And we do respect them and we all the time look at them as the big brother, somebody that we really love," Yusuf said. 
 
Hamas staged demonstrations in support of the Muslim Brotherhood following the coup in Egypt.  Gaza-based political commentator Talal Okal said this has angered Egypt's new leaders.
 
"They are trying to say that the problem with Hamas is not a security one.  It's not a media one.  It's not with the military, the army.  It's a political one.  It's a complete crisis," he said.

Egypt has domestic and strategic concerns in Gaza
 
A professor at Gaza's al-Azhar University, Mukhaimar Abu Saada, said Egypt's new leaders may have broader objectives.
 
"In addition to regaining control of Sinai and protecting Egyptian national security, it seems to me that the new regime in Egypt is trying to pressure Hamas to disconnect from the Muslim Brotherhood and reconcile its problems with the Palestinian leadership, I mean Mahmoud Abbas," he said.
 
But Hamas official Yusuf disagreed.
 
"It's because they are trying to divert attention from what's happening in Egypt, the demonstrations, the coup d'etat, all these things, to some other places. And we are the easiest target," he said. 
 
Hamas leaders are trying to reassure the new leadership in Cairo of their friendly intentions. Whether this will be enough remains to be seen.

Eyad al-Zain contributed to this report.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
October 04, 2013 11:46 AM
It's good to call a spade a spade. Hamas is a beast of no nation. The intransigent remark that Egypt makes an easy target of Hamas is rather insulting. Saying Egypt's new leaders want to mask happenings in the country, like riots, unrest and coup clearly shows Hamas' linkage with Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt cannot be your enemy and at the same time a big brother. For now Hamas proves that it does not like an Egypt in democracy but one in prehistoric hegemonic rule of oppression and repression of those who show liberal, moderate or dissident views. So Egypt has been proved right to further frustrate Hamas, if that will cause a recourse to reason and to eschew violence to accommodate divergent views in a democratic country. Under its present autocratic leverage, no country wants to identify with Hamas' abrasive, fanatical, extremist and brutish regime. 'Close Gaza, integrate with West Bank and make a viable country of Palestine', seems what every tongue of reason is telling Hamas, except those who feel that others should be eliminated for them to subsist.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs