Ma'an has a story in both English and Arabic about how Egypt opened up the Rafah border crossings over the weekend.
The English story mostly mirrors the Arabic one which was written first, although it adds some color:
Egyptian Authorities will extended the opening of Rafah crossing for a third day on Monday, the department of borders and crossings in Gaza Strip said.
Egyptian authorities exceptionally opened the crossing Saturday, after 70 consecutive days of closure.
This is the first time Egyptian authorities opened the crossing this year, a rare move given that Egypt has upheld an for the majority of the past three years an Israeli military blockade on the Gaza Strip.
On Sunday, Gaza’s Ministry of Interior spokesman Iyad al-Bazam urged Egypt to extend the opening of the Rafah crossing for a few more days to ease the crisis in Gaza, where more than 25,000 people with urgent needs -- including around 3,500 medical cases -- are registered and waiting to cross.Ma'an English added the highlighted part above, tying the Egyptian closure to Gaza with Israel, even though Israel has nothing to do with it.
The ministry said that more than 700 Palestinians were allowed to go through the Rafah crossing on Saturday, and more than 700 others were allowed to come in from Egypt, after being stuck in the country for more than 70 days since the last time the crossing was opened.
And it then adds, again in English:
The nine-year Israeli blockade has plunged the Gaza Strip’s more than 1.8 million Palestinians into poverty. The destruction from three Israeli offensives over the past six years and slow reconstruction due to the blockade led the UN in September to warn that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” by 2020.Ma'an knows that its audience is Westerners, and especially Western reporters. So in English it makes sure to somehow tie Egypt's decision to severely limit Gazan travel and trade to Israel.
Gazans know the truth and they rgularly and bitterly complain about Egypt's treatment of them. But that is muted in English reporting because the meme of Israeli "occupation" and control of Gaza is paramount, and must be emphasized every time Egypt and Gaza are mentioned.
And this propaganda method happens to work quite well. Sure enough, UPI's story about the Rafah crossings adds this:
Gaza is home to about 1.8 million Palestinians blocked from leaving the region due to strict blockades by Israel.The implication is what the Arabs want the world to believe: that Israel makes the decision and Egypt implements it. Yet it is Egypt that controls that border and Egypt that is blocking Gazans from leaving the region.
There was one other fact about this weekend's opening of Rafah that the Western media didn't mention because it also contradicts the meme of Israeli control. Al Ahram, which is an Egyptian site and therefore not monitored by Western reporters in Israel, mentions "Twenty-four trucks transporting 2,265 tonnes of cement needed for Gaza’s reconstruction crossed the border from Egypt on Saturday."
Really? So Egypt can be a source of construction material for Gaza as well? Is Israel somehow responsible for aid coming from Egypt too? Why won't the Western media say that Egypt can provide building materials to Gaza - and decides not to except for these exceptional and symbolic occasions?
But Western media would have to upend their meme about pure Israeli control of Gaza.. Ma'an won't mention it, so why should Reuters or AP?
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