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 US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains 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.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid