Egypt’s in a position to respond directly to the blockade of Gaza, and on Tuesday it did so, opening its border crossing with the Palestinians.
Closed almost uninterrupted for three years since Hamas took over from Fatah in the Gaza strip, Rafah is the only crossing point unsupervised by Israel, and its opening allows the lifeblood of fuel oil, food and basic supplies to flow into Gaza again, unrestricted.
Israel says it also allows weapons to flow to Hamas, but Cairo insists it only allows food, humanitarian aid, and medical supplies to cross. Angry Gazans say it could have been opened sooner;
“What happened is a result of the incompetence of the cowardly Arab countries. They are only scared of stopping the dollars from reaching them. We are in need of political and national support.”
“Many of the world’s countries condemned what took place yesterday out at sea, but we say as Palestinians the condemnation does not give us anything,” were just two opinions.
For Hamas it is a boost, breaking the stranglehold of an embargo on one and a half million people that was designed to weaken the Islamic group’s grip on the population, and rob it of support.