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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs