Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Official: Egypt to allow more Gaza passengers through Rafah

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Egypt has agreed to increase the number of passengers passing through its Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip to 1,000 per day, the Palestinian crossings director said Wednesday.

Maher Abu Sabha told Ma'an the terminal -- the only entry and exit point for travelers from Gaza -- currently has 500 registered passengers per day in July, but now has a quote for 500 more.

Palestinians are required to register in advance with the Gaza Ministry of Interior before travel via Egypt.

The Egyptian boost to the number of terminals comes as politicians and residents of the Gaza Strip expressed high hopes that the country's newly elected Muslim Brotherhood president would work to ease the situation of Gaza, which is under an Israeli blockade. more

Canadian Archbishop appeals to prime minister to restore Gaza hospital funding

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to re-commit funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency so it can continue to support Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza Strip. The hospital is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and serves about a million people, regardless of religious or ethnic background.

“So many people are turning to us in desperation,” wrote Hiltz in his letter to Harper. “Let us not be blind to their suffering nor deaf to their cry.”

Suhaila Tarazi, hospital director, recently informed Diocese of Jerusalem partners that UNRWA abruptly had ended its financial contractual support of the hospital in May. The reason given for this decision was UNRWA’s diminished budgets due to non-payment of pledges from donor countries.

In his letter to Harper, Hiltz wrote, “UNRWA, not Hamas, nor the Palestinian authority is the sole provider of education and emergency medical services to 2/3 of the population of Gaza who are refugees.” more