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Hamas says Egypt closing Gaza border 'crime against humanity'
Published Tuesday 18/03/2014 (updated) 20/03/2014 19:59
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Palestinians pray near the gate of the Rafah border crossing with
Egypt on February 28, 2014, during a protest to demand that
Egypt lift border crossing restrictions.(AFP/File Said Khatib)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas on Tuesday sharply criticized Egypt's closure of the Rafah border crossing, saying Cairo's tightening of restrictions on the Palestinian territory was a "crime against humanity."

"The Egyptian authorities' insistence on closing the Rafah crossing and tightening the Gaza blockade... is a crime against humanity by all standards and a crime against the Palestinian people," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

He condemned "the continuation of this blockade and closing the crossing, all whilst Israel escalates and (increases) aggression".

"We hold all parties to the blockade of Gaza completely responsible for the consequences of this crime," he said.

Egypt has severely restricted access through the border city of Rafah -- Gaza's only gateway to the world that is not controlled by Israel -- ostensibly for security reasons.

The Hamas interior ministry says Rafah, for many Gazans the only passage in and out of the territory and a crucial crossing for supplies, has now been closed for 39 straight days.

The UN slammed closures to Gaza's border crossings, expressing concern for Gazans in need of medical treatment.

"Extremely limited movement in and out of Gaza from (Israeli-controlled) Erez and Rafah crossings continues to afflict the civilian population, including patients awaiting medical treatment," UN under-secretary general for political affairs Jeffrey Feltman said in a Tuesday briefing to the Security Council.

"Recurrent drug and medical equipment shortages are affecting the Gaza medical system, further increasing the number of patients seeking referral outside for medical conditions that could have been treated inside Gaza, were supplies available."

Rafah is located in north Sinai, where militants have killed scores of Egyptian police and soldiers since the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.

Egypt's military said on Wednesday that it had destroyed 1,370 smuggling tunnels under its border with the Gaza Strip, as ties with Hamas have soured.

Hamas is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood, to which the ousted Egyptian president belongs.

The military-installed government in Cairo has accused Hamas of colluding with militants in Egypt, a charge Hamas has denied.

The tunnels, under the town of Rafah, are used to transfer food, fuel and consumer products into the densely populated Palestinian enclave.

But Hamas and other militant groups reportedly use their own more secret tunnels to bring in arms and money.
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1 ) Arnold / Canada
18/03/2014 19:46
Hamas as well as Fatah cry cry cry about human rights yet when it comes to better themselves vis a vis Israel they continue to be stubborn and use the "right to resist" card. Well your resistance has gotten you nowhere.

2 ) Rights & / Perspective
18/03/2014 19:56
- It is the right of every sovereign nation, including the states of Egypt and Israel, to close their borders as they see fit, just as it is the right of every individual to turn away unwelcome guests, but
- It is the right of No national entity, including Lebanon's Hezbollah and Gaza's Hamas, to fire rockets at civilians !!!

3 ) JoeUSA / USA
18/03/2014 20:33
It is clear that the Egyptian regime acts as the protector of Israel and the subservient of the United States dictates.

4 ) Jay / USA
18/03/2014 23:53
Hamas is a crime against humanity.

5 ) Todd / Canada
19/03/2014 01:14
The fuel in Egypt is subsidized, and Hamas was bringing it in and selling it at a premium, so Egypt shut that down. It's always oil in the Middle East!

6 ) Outlier / USA
19/03/2014 01:40
You can't teach stupid. Hamas caused this problem and Hamas can solve this problem, if it has the good sense to get out of the jihadist militant business in Sinai and the tunnel smuggling business at the border. Talk is cheap and such criticism is aimed at deflecting blame from where it belongs - with Hamas. It should shut up and take action to improve the situation.

7 ) Actually / Truth
19/03/2014 04:08
- Israel closing Gaza's sea and northern borders, just like - Egypt closing the Gaza southern border are both Self-Defense, given Hamas' attacks on their militaries, and most significantly Hamas' war "crimes against humanity" and their civilians !!

8 ) Tom / USA
19/03/2014 19:45
The majority of the residents of Gaza are refugees, driven from their homes by the violence of zionists, and prevented from returning by the same thugs. The world must insist unequivocally on their right to return to their homes and properties. Until that happens Israelis can't expect to live in those people's houses, on those people's property with impunity. The whiners on this list are like burglars crying foul when the owners of the property they've broken into pulls a gun on them.
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