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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy 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.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid