Pro-Gaza march banned
Egypt rejected yesterday a request by international activists to organise a march to the Gaza Strip via
Egypt to mark one year since an Israeli attack on the enclave.
"Some international organisations have requested permission for a solidarity march – the Gaza Freedom March -- into the Gaza Strip," the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"Egypt finds it difficult to cooperate with this march, considering the sensitive situation in the Gaza Strip," which faces a stringent Israeli blockade, the statement said. It warned that "any attempts to violate the law or public order by any group whether local or foreign on Egyptian soil will be dealt with in conformity with the law". Over 1,000 international delegates from 42 countries have signed up to join the Gaza Freedom March which was due to enter Gaza via Egypt during the last week of December. Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces along the border with the Gaza Strip have raised their readiness level over a Hamas rally yesterday, organised to protest a new underground barrier, the German news agency DPA quoted an Egyptian Sinai source as saying. The barrier, which is to be comprised of enormous slates of steel, reaching deep into the ground, is meant to aid security forces in preventing cross-border smuggling tunnels. On Saturday, security officials said Gazans shot at Egyptians installing the underground metal barrier meant to seal cross-border smuggling tunnels. Palestinian and Egyptian officials said that no one was hurt in the incident, which was the fourth such shooting since workers began constructing the barrier several weeks ago. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to speak to reporters.