Thursday Oct 17, 201311:20 PM GMT
Israel, Egypt tighten noose around people in Gaza
Israel and Egypt have tightened the noose around the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli blockade for the past six years, Press TV reports.


The regime in Tel Aviv and Egypt’s new military-appointed government have again closed border crossings with the besieged coastal enclave, a Press TV correspondent reported from the Palestinian territory on Thursday.

Israel has shut down the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is located on the most southern tip of the enclave, several times this year.

According to the United Nations, the Israeli regime allows only one third of the goods and commodities needed by Gazans to reach them during normal operation hours of the crossing.

Experts say the closure can have severe repercussions on the civilian population in the strip.

The 1.7 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are living in what is called the world's largest open-air prison as Israel retains full control of the airspace, territorial waters, and border crossings of the territory.

Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since June 2007, a situation which has caused a decline in the standard of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.

“The closure has very negative effect on all the aspects of life in the Gaza Strip. Our city is heavily dependent on the crossings,” said Sami Suleiman, a Gaza City resident.

The Tel Aviv regime has been sealing the crossings of Gaza Strip for many years on holidays.

This time, Israel claims it has closed the crossing for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice.

The crossings are the only windows to the outside world for the Gazans following the destruction of Gaza economic tunnels, said Mohammad Awad, another Gaza resident.

Both the Rafah and Kerem Shalom crossings have been closed without any reason and their closures are inflicting sufferings on the people of Gaza, Awad added.

The Egyptian military has closed the Rafah crossing, which is the only border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip that is not controlled by Israel. It has also destroyed almost 800 tunnels, which were used to transport essential goods from Egypt, such as foodstuff, cooking gas, medicines, petrol, and livestock, into the strip.

In July, the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, whose administration had taken a number of measures against the Tel Aviv regime.

According to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israel was behind the coup.

In his last decade of rule, former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak fully supported Israel in its blockade of the Gaza Strip, a situation that created more miseries for the Palestinians and infuriated many Egyptians.

In January 2011, Egyptians launched a revolution against the Mubarak regime, which eventually ended his rule on February 11, 2011.

Almost a year after the revolution, Egyptians elected a new parliament and in mid-2012 a new president, Mohamed Morsi.

The revolutionary government relaxed many bans imposed on the Palestinians and established relations with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The Morsi government also announced to revise Egyptian-Israeli ties and reportedly considered terminating the so-called peace deal with Tel Aviv under which Egypt had to agree to supply gas to Israel at an extremely low price.

In March 2012, the lower house of the Egyptian parliament unanimously approved a text declaring that Israel was the number one enemy of Egypt and called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and a halt to gas exports to Israel.

On the night of July 3, Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that Morsi, a former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was no longer in office and declared that the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mahmoud Mansour, had been appointed as the new interim president of Egypt. The army also suspended the constitution.

GJH/HN/MHB
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