CAIRO: International activists from the Gaza Freedom March (GFM) still in Cairo after the Egyptian government’s refusal to let the GFM into the besieged Strip joined a protest Monday against the iron wall being constructed on the border.
Around 70 people attended the protest, organized by the April 6 Youth Movement and held outside Cairo’s Public Prosecution Office.
“We’re here to express our refusal of the wall and the siege against Gaza. This is not helping the people of Gaza, April 6 activist Mohamed Samy told Daily News Egypt.
On Saturday minister of legal affairs Mufid Shehab was quoted by state daily Al-Ahram as saying that the “engineering works on Egypt’s border with Gaza – understood to be a reference to the underground iron wall Egypt is allegedly constructing – “are necessary to secure the border and “protect Egypt, its land and people.
Samy, however, rejected claims that the wall was necessary to protect Egyptian sovereignty, saying, “Sovereignty is bigger than any wall. The activist criticized what he regards as the Egyptian government “standing against the Palestinian people.
Earlier Monday morning lawyer Ibrahim Yosry filed a case against the Egyptian government’s construction of the wall at the State Council.
Yosry, who recently won a case in which he challenged the export of Egyptian gas to Israel, told Daily News Egypt that around 200 people have signed powers of attorney backing the case. He added that the implementation of any verdict in the plaintiffs’ favor is not guaranteed.
“The Egyptian government has a firm reputation that.we can win the case but [the government] doesn’t act upon it, Yosry said.
“If the government later feels its decision will inflict embarrassment or humiliation on the country it may back out and not carry through with the original decision.
British activist Yvonne Ridley, who was part of the group of 1,400 international activists who have been in Egypt since last week after Egypt refused to let them cross the border, told Daily News Egypt that the decision not to open the border was not made by Egypt alone.
“It was motivated from Washington and Tel Aviv. They did not want 1,400 peace activists showing any kindness, any solidarity or to give any humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, Ridley said.
“Unfortunately Egypt has shown that its sovereignty is under threat because it’s handing over the power to make these decisions to Washington and Tel Aviv.
Ridley said that about $20,000 in aid was taken to Gaza with a delegation of around 80 people who went to Gaza following an agreement reached between First Lady Suzanne Mubarak and some members of the GFM.
As demonstrators protested in Cairo, news came in that the Viva Palestina convoy, refused entry into Egypt via the Red Sea port of Nuweiba, had arrived in Al-Arish.
While the aid itself was brought by boat, Viva Palestina members were flown in on chartered flights.