Rafah movement commemorates one-month presence on border

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The International Movement to Open the Rafah Border (IMORB) commemorated Monday its month-long presence at the Rafah border crossing by building their own latrine after authorities placed barbed wire around the facilities of the only cafeteria near the gate.

The IMORB has maintained a constant vigil at the Rafah border crossing since June 13. Their number currently stands at 10, with one Moroccan, two French, three Americans, three Egyptians and one from England.

“They’re putting every obstacle they can [before us], IMORB member Paki Weiland told Daily News Egypt from the crossing, “and they threatened a Palestinian family so they wouldn’t talk to us.

“They are very anxious and are being mean, she added, “We are very strong and they’re not going to wear us down. We want that border opened.

Meanwhile, another aid convoy intended for Gaza, sent by the Viva Palestina group, is facing difficulties reaching the Rafah crossing.

According to a report released by Viva Palestina, on Sunday, “four buses carrying American citizens and their badly needed cargo of medical supplies bound for the destitute people of Gaza were abruptly stopped by the Egyptian authorities at the Suez Canal and prohibited from proceeding further.

“This blockade of our buses into the Sinai is the latest in a series of obstacles and frustrating delay tactics erected against this humanitarian mission and aid convoy, the report continued. “On Thursday, two busloads of drivers were denied access in Alexandria to the 47 new vehicles intended to carry our medical supplies into Gaza. The drivers remain stranded in the port city to this day.

Convoy participant Rev. Werner Lange said in the statement, “These obstacles only serve to perpetuate the suffering of the Palestinians and enhance the determination of Viva Palestina participants to do all we can to alleviate the suffering and end the blockade.

“The delay tactics also contradict the sentiment and statements of President Obama given in Cairo a mere month ago, he added.

Egyptian authorities announced last Friday that they were set to destroy 680 kg of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians because it had been kept too long at the border and had spoilt. The aid consisted of medicine, agricultural pesticides and peanuts.

Only certain types of medical aid are allowed through the Rafah crossing, therefore this aid was intended for passage through Al-Oja crossing further south on the border with Israel. Israel refused to allow the shipment in so it went bad and will be destroyed by fire in the town of Sheikh Zowayed.

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