Sunday, July 7, 2013

Warning of humanitarian catastrophe as Egypt tightens siege of Gaza

Palestinian security guards stand near an Egypt watch tower at the Gaza-Egypt border, 5 July.

An Egyptian general has said that President Muhammad Morsi, who was overthrown by the army on Wednesday, may be charged by the military with “collaborating” with the Palestinian resistance group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, urgent action is needed to avoid a looming humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, a human rights group warned today, as the political crisis in neighboring Egypt deepens.

Closing Rafah, blaming Palestinians for Egypt’s problems

Earlier today, Egyptian authorities shut down the Rafah crossing, the only route to the outside world for the vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza. The closure came after reported attacks on several Egyptian army checkpoints and posts in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Egyptian authorities and media have routinely blamed such attacks on Palestinians or on Hamas, without any evidence, and Egypt has habitually imposed collective punishments by closing Rafah.

General says Morsi “collaborated” with Hamas

In a striking example today, Brigadier General (Ret.) Ayman Salama, who teaches at Cairo’s Military Academy, told the BBC World Service Newshour that part of the reason the army had overthrown Morsi was his alleged collaboration with Hamas against Egypt. more


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