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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Hamas' goal: open the Rafah crossing

Israel Matzav reported yesterday on a Debka article (no longer available) that Hamas is trying to use this manufactured "crisis" in Gaza in order to pressure Egypt to open the Rafah crossing.

Today, there is some evidence that Debka is correct. Palestine Press reports that Hamas has sent hundreds of women to Rafah to provoke and embarrass the Egyptians at the border (autotranslated):

Clashes erupted this afternoon between anti-riot forces stationed on the Egyptian crossing point of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and between women from Hamas demonstrating and picketing in front of the crossing and creating anarchy at the border in order to embarrass the Egyptian leadership and incite public opinion.

Eyewitnesses said at the border women were brought in buses belonging to the Hamas movement after appeals sent them yesterday in mosques.

Hamas used women as a way to reach the goals that mostly lead to the destruction and loss of the Palestinian people oppressed under this provision unjust in Gaza and to embarrass the Egyptian leadership to the public opinion and Arab public.

Eyewitnesses said, "Ambulances rushed to the area of the crossing after the injury of a number of female supporters of Hamas were injured and were transported to the congestion of Rafah hospital to receive treatment."

The Hamas movement called for a demonstration of supporters of women's wives and female relatives of troops and Islamic bloc in the universities and schools near the Rafah crossing this morning, after Jmathn in buses from different areas of the Gaza Strip and they went to the crossing to demonstrate against the Egyptian authorities and demand to open the crossing closed since the Hamas coup in the Gaza Strip seven months ago.

The Egyptian police announced yesterday on the strengthening of security presence on the border of the Gaza Strip to 300 anti-riot forces in preparation to deal with Hamas demonstrations in the light of threats to use non-peaceful means to open the crossing in the event of the Egyptian authorities refused to adhere to their demands.
Ma'an adds that the Egyptians used batons and water cannons against the women as they shouted "Allah Akbar."