European MPs enter Gaza, others kept at Rafah crossing

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Forty-one MPs from the European Parliament entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing Tuesday morning, though another American/European delegation accompanied by Palestinians was denied entry.

The MP delegation was headed by Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini and is due to visit sites of destruction in the strip as a result of the Israeli offensive last December. The delegation will also monitor the humanitarian situation in the strip.

Another delegation, calling itself the International Movement to open the Rafah border, comprising seven people (three American, three French and one Italian) and accompanied by four Palestinian families, was denied entry and remained at the crossing Tuesday.

A camera belonging to the Italian member of the delegation was confiscated at the crossing, but was later returned with the film destroyed.

Member of the delegation Don Bryant told Daily News Egypt from the crossing in a telephone interview, “We are protesting the siege of Gaza that is preventing humanitarian aid from going through. This is a humanitarian crime; the siege is an act of war.

On Monday, 74 Palestinian children accompanied by eight adults came through the crossing to travel on to Poland for treatment from psychological trauma caused by the destruction they witnessed in Gaza during the Israeli offensive. They are expected to stay in Poland for one month.

In Cairo, Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman hosted Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal for talks on tempering the crisis that has recently broken out between Hamas and Fatah after Palestinians in the West Bank attacked Hamas targets.

Nine people were killed as a result of the Fatah raids, which took place in Qalqilya in the West Bank.

“Hamas saw the assassinations of its members and the ongoing arrests in the West Bank as a setback to the dialogue and a serious attempt by the Palestinian Authority’s security services in the West Bank to sabotage Egyptian efforts, Hamas spokesman Taher Al-Nunu said.

Reuters reported that two rockets were fired from Gaza and landed on Egyptian soil north of the Rafah crossing Tuesday morning. The rockets landed in a deserted area and no one was hurt. It was believed that the rockets were launched by mistake.

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