Egypt, Gaza and the siege

The new Egyptian government has been criticized for being complicit in the siege of Gaza, having shut down its border with the Palestinian strip in 2013 and destroying hundreds of tunnels in the process.

Gaza desperately relies on the tunnels to smuggle in basic commodities. The densely-populated coastal enclave is home to over 1.8 million Palestinians. The crippling Israeli blockade by land, air, and sea — in place since 2007 — continues to cause hardships for those living there.

Hamas called on Egypt to loosen restrictions on the Gaza Strip after officials from the Palestinian group traveled to Cairo seeking to mend strained relations.

Senior official Khalil al-Haya said Hamas had asked Egypt to allow more traffic through the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, with the Hamas Interior Ministry saying that 2015 was “the worst year for Rafah in recent years.” Last year, Egypt opened the crossing for just 21 days.

Relations have soured between Hamas and Cairo since the 2013 overthrow of Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi, a member of the now-blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood movement.

What now for the tense relationship between the Palestinians and Egyptians and what impact will that have on regional dynamics?

Sorgente: PressTV-Egypt, Gaza and the siege


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