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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
In face of Israeli repression, tens of thousands of Palestinians force their way into Egypt
Wednesday, January 23, 2008 :Following a series of explosions early Wednesday that blew up major portions of the wall separating the Gaza Strip and Egypt, tens of thousands of Palestinians streamed across the border in search of food, fuel, cement and other supplies. One media report suggested as many as 350,000 people had entered Egypt, a fifth of Gaza’s population.
Other accounts claimed lower totals, from 60,000 to 100,000.
The impoverished and persecuted Palestinian population in Gaza has faced a particularly grave crisis since the Israeli cabinet voted last week to close all border crossings, cutting off food, medicine and fuel to the 1.5 million residents. The Zionist regime’s action forced the shutdown Sunday of Gaza’s only power plant.
On Tuesday, Israel allowed limited shipments of fuel, food and medicine into Gaza, but officials of the International Red Cross in Geneva, who called on Tel Aviv to lift the blockade, said the situation remained precarious. A Red Cross spokeswoman said, “There is a risk of crumbling of the infrastructure that is now just holding on by a thread.”
The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, John Ging, commented, “We are teetering ... on the brink of a catastrophe.” The agency announced Monday that it would have to suspend its food aid to 860,000 Gaza residents by later in the week if the crossings from Israel into the Strip were not unsealed.
Amnesty International pointed out that more than 40 seriously ill patients had died “since the Israeli authorities closed Gaza’s borders, so denying them access to hospital treatment abroad, but now the entire Gaza population is being put at risk as electricity and fuel supplies run out.”Read More