A march in solidarity with the Palestinians arrived in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday demanding the opening of the Rafah crossing to allow aid into Gaza amid an ongoing Israeli attack on the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Thousands of people broke through security barriers to reach the iconic square, the epicenter of Egypt’s 2011 uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.

Some people were heard chanting anti-government slogans and calling on the Arab armies to act to stop the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian lawyers and activists posted images on social media showing thousands of people participating in the protest carrying Palestinian flags.

The Israeli army has killed more than 4,200 Palestinians since the conflict began two weeks ago, according to the latest count by the Palestinian Health Ministry. Among the dead are at least 1,524 children and 1,032 women.

The latest Israeli military operation against the Gaza Strip began after the Hamas-led surprise attack on October 7. At least 1,400 people have been killed since the attack was launched, and more than 200 more have been returned to Gaza as prisoners of war.

Protests across the Arab world erupted earlier this week following the Israeli bombing of the al-Ahli al-Arab hospital in Gaza that killed at least 471 civilians and displaced Palestinian patients.

Israel denied responsibility and claimed that a rocket belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad was improperly launched and hit the hospital. But Palestinian officials, the Health Ministry and Arab governments blamed Israel for what they considered a war crime after days of several other deadly airstrikes on residential buildings.

On Thursday, another Israeli airstrike killed at least 16 displaced Palestinians taking shelter in a church in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Popular mandate for Sisi

Egypt’s Friday protests began after midday prayers across the country, including in Cairo, Alexandria and the Sinai.

In Cairo, the largest protest began in the courtyards of the Al-Azhar mosque, one of the most esteemed religious institutions in the Sunni Muslim world.

‘We want the border to be opened immediately so that aid can reach the people of Gaza,’ said a protester in Tahrir Square.

Protesters then marched towards Tahrir Square despite a heavy police presence. Dozens of people fought with the police and broke the barrier to reach the square.

Protesters raised slogans claiming they were genuine and not set up by the government, while pro-government media figures had led calls for protests to give President Sisi “a mandate to protect the land of Egypt from dangers and war with Israel.” , and put an end to the peace process.”

“We want the border to open immediately so that aid can reach the people of Gaza,” one protester told MEE from Tahrir.

“God is alive, the voice of the people is still alive, the voice of the resistance is still alive,” some chanted.

Protesters demanded the closure of the Israeli embassy and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. They also called for the peace treaties between Egypt and Israel to be repealed.

Some denounced “cowardly” Arab leaders and praised Palestinian resistance groups. “Resistance is the solution,” some chanted. “The people want the fall of Israel,” others chanted, invoking the famous chant from the Arab Spring protests: “The people want the fall of the regime.”

Sisi had warned on Wednesday that “millions” of Egyptians would protest against any movement of Palestinians to the Sinai, a proposal suggested by Israeli officials and commentators to clear the densely populated Gaza Strip of civilians as the Israeli army launches its military operation against Palestinian armed groups. . .

Popular protests have been largely repressed since Sisi became president in 2014, following his military coup against his democratically elected predecessor, Mohamed Morsi.

Israel attacks Rafah crossing for fifth time

Several countries and aid organizations have been sending cargo planes and trucks to the Rafah border crossing for days, but so far none have been allowed entry because Israel has not guaranteed that the convoys would not be attacked. The crossing is currently the only gateway to Gaza that is not controlled by Israel.

Israel has bombed the crossing at least five times since October 7, on both the Egyptian and Palestinian sides. The latest attack took place on Friday on the Gaza side.

Repair work was underway on Friday morning at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt to allow aid trucks to enter, but it was unclear when this would happen. An Egyptian official said his government is “waiting for approval” from the Israeli side before allowing aid in.

Security forces stand in Tahrir Square as thousands of people stage a pro-Palestine protest on October 20, 2023.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that “restrictions” have been placed on the delivery of aid to Gaza.

Speaking from the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing, Guterres said aid trucks must arrive as soon as possible.

“We are actively working with all parties to clarify these restrictions so we can get these trucks moving to where they are needed. We need to get these trucks moving as soon as possible,” Guterres said.

“We have two million people here who are suffering tremendously. There is no water, no food, no medicine, no fuel. Gaza needs everything to survive.”

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday also blamed Israel for “selective attacks, refusal of aid entry and recently insinuation of Egypt’s responsibility for obstructing the departure of third-country nationals.”

Fuente Middle East Eye.

Source: www.laizquierdadiario.com

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