Only hours after activists from popular committees and youth movements throughout the West Bank formally presented the Egyptian ambassador, His Excellency Yasser Othman, with an appeal and a petition to open the Rafah crossing unconditionally and permanently, the Palestinians of Gaza learned that the crossing will in fact be closed for six consecutive days during the Eid holiday.
A petition was originally issued by Gaza-based civil society sectors including academics, students, workers, and youth. It was immediately supported publically by Egyptian revolutionaries and grass-roots organizations as well as renowned International human rights defenders such as Desmond Tutu and Richard Falk.
Despite assurances by the Egyptian ambassador that conditions at Gaza’s only lifeline to the outside world will improve in the coming days, it seems that the people of Gaza will continue to suffer from frequent and arbitrary closures on weekends and holidays. This closure comes while the Taba crossing to the Israeli city of Eilat as well as other Egyptian border crossings, airport terminals and seaports are closed for only one day for Eid al Adha and continue their activities throughout the year without interruption.
While Palestinians and their allies continue to struggle against the criminal Israeli-imposed siege, the frequent closures of the Rafah crossing by the Egyptian authorities compounded with the quota system that only allows a limited number of people to cross every day results in long delays and significant hardship. At times, students miss their school terms and workers lose their jobs while waiting for their turn to cross. Family members who hold foreign passports are still prevented from visiting their loved ones in Gaza.This severely hinders the freedom of movement of the Palestinians of Gaza, a basic human right under international law.
CALL TO ACTION
1. Organize a delegation to deliver the petition to your Egyptian embassy, consulate or representative office.
3. Sign and circulate the petition.
4. “Like”, “Share” and Post your activities on the campaign Facebook page
5. Sign this petition to unconditionally open the Rafah crossing
For more information and to send an email about your activities contact: [email protected]