Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gaza Hajj update

As I have previously blogged, the PA and Israel arranged for thousands of Gaza Hajj pilgrims to travel in buses through Israel to the West Bank where they will go on to perform Hajj in the apartheid-like Muslim-only city of Mecca. Hamas seems to be blocking the pilgrims, saying that they will open the Rafah crossing to Egypt and have the pilgrims go that way, so Israel wouldn't be involved.

The only problem is, Egypt does not open the Rafah crossings without the EU's permission, and the EU cannot open it while Hamas is in charge. (The EU's Rafah mission remains on the EU payroll, doing absolutely nothing, and it hasn't even updated its website with any news about the Rafah crossing.)

Now, Palestine Press Agency reports that Hamas is planning to embarrass Egypt into opening Rafah by demolishing the wall near the crossing and forcing Egypt to directly stop the pilgrims from going to Egypt - or forcing Egypt to let them through. PPA says that Hamas plans to demonstrate on Friday and demolish the wall on Saturday. Whether this is true or not, Hamas is clearly playing political games with their devout Muslim population.

I have no idea why the English-language media has not picked up on this story even though it is over a week old now.