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 - Truth about Gaza War / Assualt

    Egypt refuses to open Rafah border

    Fri, 02 Jan 2009
    Egypt's foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit says his country will not open Rafah border amid escalating humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

    Egypt's refusal to open the crossing comes in the wake of an 18-month Israeli-imposed blockade of coastal strip and the recent seven-day bombardment of the impoverished region which have left Palestinians in critical shortages of food, fuel and medical treatments.

    Israeli attacks have so far killed more than 425 Palestinians and injured 2180 others.

    Talking to reporters in Cairo on Thursday, the Egyptian top diplomat reiterated that Cairo cannot open Rafah unless Abbas' Palestinian Authority --which runs the West Bank -- controls the crossing and international monitors are present.

    Egypt has faced harsh criticism for not opening the crossing that would allow humanitarian aid into the impoverished region.

    Critics have accused the Egyptian government of joining Israel in blockading the territory and trying to remove Hamas from power.

    Blaming the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas for the continuation of the conflict, Aboul Gheit added that calm will return to Gaza Strip only if Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel.

    Gheit noted Hamas must ensure rocket fire stops in any truce deal with Israel as the death toll of Israeli seven-day bombardment of the tiny land reached at least 425 and left 2183 more wounded.

    He said Israel has already given the green light for a ceasefire, but Hamas rockets have destroyed that chance.

    Palestinian resistance groups say they have resumed their rocket attacks on Israel because Tel Aviv failed to ease the gaza blockade during the six-month ceasefire which expired before the conflict erupted.

    The ceasefire committed Israel to lift the blockade in exchange for a halt for rocket attacks from Gaza. Hamas did not extend the ceasefire due to Israel's 'refusal to lift the suffocating siege'.


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