Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has scoffed at the blockade of the Gaza Strip, saying walls cannot force Palestinians to submit to external control.
"Gaza is surrounded on three sides; north, east, and south; to make it raise a white flag," Haniyeh said on Monday, insisting that Egypt’s underground wall will fail to produce Cairo’s desired effect. "The escalation of the blockade and the siege is aimed at toppling the (Hamas) government and bringing the Palestinians to their knees," he added.
The Gaza Strip has long been under siege by the Israelis, who have closed all Gaza crossings, preventing donated food and other basic needs into the area, which is home to some 1.5 million Palestinians.
The only border terminal not controlled by Tel Aviv is the southern Rafah crossing which is closed by the Egyptian government. Cairo also launches regular attacks on the Palestinians’ cross-border tunnel network in the area, filling the "food and energy vessels" with gas and water.
Late last year, the Israeli daily Haaretz revealed Egypt was constructing a subterranean steel wall to stem the flow of goods into the coastal enclave.
Haniyeh said that his government is entering "its fourth year in the next few days, and no one can deny the accomplishments and successes it made in achievements in security, stability, preventing chaos and restoring the rights to the people through courts and the judiciary."
The Islamic Hamas movement came to power in Palestine following its sweeping victory in the 2006 general elections but faced pressure under Western diplomatic and economic sanctions.
In June 2007, Hamas had to limit it rule to the Gaza Strip after the rival Fatah party tried to dismantle the resistance movement’s administration and forged its own government in the West Bank city of Ramallah.