Political parties urge Egypt's El-Sisi to open Rafah crossing permanently

Ahram Online , Sunday 13 Jul 2014

Several political parties and revolutionary movements are organising a protest in solidarity with Palestinians at the Journalists' Syndicate Sunday

Rafah border crossing on Egypt-Gaza border (Photo: Reuters)
Several political parties and revolutionary movements held a meeting Saturday to discuss a united position regarding the Israeli aggression on Gaza, and from which they issued a joint statement to condemn the Israeli attack, urging the Egyptian president to open the Rafah crossing permanently.
"We are calling on the president and the Egyptian government to adopt honestly the Egyptian people's position on the Palestinian cause and to open the Rafah crossing, not only because of the attack but permanently," said the statement, adding that the Rafah crossing was a matter of life and death to the Palestinian people and should not be part of political considerations. 
"Opening the Rafah crossing permanently will not stop Egypt from taking precautions to secure our national security," the statement said.
Rafah crossing was opened exceptionally for the critically injured Thursday. At least 11 cases were transferred from Gaza hospitals to Al-Arish and Cairo hospitals.  
Egyptian authorities have largely kept the crossing closed since former president Mohamed Morsi's removal, citing security concerns in the restive Sinai Peninsula where an Islamist insurgency is burgeoning.
The closure of the crossing has taken a toll on an estimated 1.7 million Palestinians living in the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip, under a crippling Israeli siege since 2006.
The parties also announced they would organise a protest at the Journalists' Syndicate in Cairo Sunday evening.
Activists are also collecting food and medicine for a relief aid convey that will head to Gaza next week. 
Among the parties and movements that signed the statement are the Constitution Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Strong Egypt Party, the Egypt Freedom Party, the Nasserist Popular Current, the Revolutionary Path Front and the Popular Socialist Alliance Party.
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