Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Rafah border crossing opens for two days

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing, which connects Egypt with the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday for two days.

The crossing was opened for humanitarian purposes upon Palestinian requests, Egypt’s state-run television reported.

Barakat Al-Farra, the Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Egypt, said that opening the crossing for two days “came in response to the will of [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas”. Al-Farra thanked Egyptian efforts and the Egyptian General Intelligence for their continuous quest and efforts to “alleviate suffering of our people in the Gaza Strip”.

The last time the border crossing was open for humanitarian cases was a month ago.

Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July, Egyptian authorities subjected the Rafah border crossing to repeated shutdowns, which continuously lasted for longer stretches of time. more

"Gaza’s Ark" Boat about to leave Gaza Attacked

At 3:45 AM Gaza time on April 29th, the night guard on board Gaza's Ark received a call to leave the boat because it was going to be attacked.

The guard left, but when nothing happened, he returned after 5 minutes. A few minutes later, a large explosion rocked the boat causing extensive damage.

The boat sank part way and is now sitting on the shallow sea floor. The guard was not injured but was taken to hospital for tests.

Mahfouz Kabariti, Gaza’s Ark Project Manager, says: “The extent and nature of the damage are currently being investigated. We will provide an update when available.”

"Gaza’s Ark and all our partners in the Freedom Flotilla Coalition are considering our next move in response to this cowardly act of terrorism, but our position remains clear: Neither this nor any other attack will stop our efforts to challenge the blockade of Gaza until it ends," adds David Heap of Gaza's Ark Steering Committee.

"Freedom Flotilla boats have been sabotaged before. more