"Mideast: Gaza, Hundreds Protest Against Egyptian Wall," from ANSAmed, December 21
GAZA, DECEMBER 21 - Today in Rafah (south of Gaza) some 700 people joined a demonstration staged in this portion of Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas Islamic radicals to protest against the underground steel barrier planned by Egypt along the only section of the Gaza Strip border that is foreign to Israel.
The protesters gathered in front of the so-called Saladins Door, near the Egyptian border, but not in front of the main Rafah pass.
The crowd included local residents, local Hamas activists and even one of the movements spokespersons who arrived from Gaza City, Sami Abu Zahri, who requested a halt to work in progress and the dismantling of the section of the barrier that has already been built.
During the gathering people chanted slogans inviting Egypt not to choke the people of Gaza and to help the Palestinian people, while others carried signs saying Stop the siege or Enough walls and invoked Arab solidarity.
Hamas security, present in force, however avoided any excessive approach to the border and incidents of any kind.
The barrier, which was created with the help of American technicians, represents Cairòs reply to the problem of underground tunnels which allow the passage of vital goods to the Gaza Strip (which has been under an almost total Israeli blockade since Hamas rose to power in 2007) in addition to weapons, militiamen and illegal aliens.
According to reports referred in recent days by the BBC and by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the project estimates a total final length of 10 kilometres for 30 metres of depth.
Initially denied, the start of work was later confirmed by Cairo sources, which claimed Egypt's right to control its borders.
And they blamed Hamas intransigence for the failed agreement (where Egypt acted as middleman) over inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which is considered as one of the reasons behind the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip.
With thanks to JihadWatch