Sunday, May 1, 2011

Egypt warns Israel against meddling

Rafah border crossing point

Source: Press TV

Egyptian military rulers have warned Israel against interfering with its plan to permanently open the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip.

Egypt's Chief of Staff of armed forces Sami Anan says the opening of Rafah is not a matter of Tel Aviv's concern.

"Israel does not have the right to interfere in Egypt's decision to open the Rafah border. This is an Egyptian-Palestinian issue," Anan wrote on his Facebook page.

On Thursday, Egypt announced a plan to open the border crossing within days.

The move will allow the flow of people and goods in and out of Gaza without Israeli permission or supervision.

Egypt has kept the crossing largely closed since Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007.

The crippling blockade on the territory has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

The siege has left nearly one and a half million Gazans in dire need of basic supplies.

Under the US-backed former dictator Hosni Mubarak regime, Egypt consistently served Israeli interests and objectives by helping to impose the crippling blockade on the impoverished Gaza strip after the democratically elected Hamas government took control of the territory in 2007.

An Israeli attack on Gaza in 2009 killed over 1,400 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including countless women and children. However, even during the offensive, Egypt failed to open the crossing.

Egypt's political parties say the Gaza blockade serves American and Israeli objectives in the region and threatens regional stability and independence.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi had earlier said Cairo was preparing to permanently open the Rafah border crossing in a move that would allow people and goods to enter and exit the Gaza Strip.

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