Egyptian authorities have been pressuring Hamas to cancel planned demonstrations at the fence separating Israel from the besieged enclave, Al Maydan News revealed yesterday.
Reporting a Palestinian source, Al Maydan said that the closure of the Rafah Crossing, which came into effect on Monday, is part of efforts to pressure Hamas.
Scenes from the preparations for a peaceful protest at Gaza border, east of Khan Younis city, calling for lifting the blockade imposed on the #Gaza Strip and in protest of the Israeli violations in the occupied #Jerusalem. #FreePalestine#GazaUnderSiege pic.twitter.com/PzIavZdo5I
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) August 25, 2021
The source said that the Egyptians were thinking of increasing the sanctions on the besieged Gaza Strip if the demonstrations continue.
On Monday, the Egyptian authorities told the Interior Ministry in Gaza that the Rafah Crossing would be closed until further notice, without giving reasons.
Israeli TV Channel 13 reported that Egypt has been carrying out intensive contact with Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh to prevent a possible escalation in Gaza that could be triggered by the planned demonstrations organized to call for ending the 14-year-old siege.
— al whit (@soitiz) August 25, 2021
The Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported that Egypt told Hamas that Israel would prevent Palestinian demonstrators from approaching the eastern fence at any price, even if it led to many Palestinians being killed.
Similar protests erupted in March 2018 and were suspended at the end of 2019. Some 214 Palestinians, including 46 children, were killed in the protests, and over 36,100, including nearly 8,800 children, were injured, according to UN figures. One in five of those injured (over 8,000) were hit by live ammunition. During the same period, one Israeli soldier was killed and seven others were injured during the demonstrations.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)