Egypt cop killed in Gaza scuffle over blocked aid

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PostWed Jan 06, 2010 4:10 pm » by Proto

Egypt cop killed in Gaza scuffle over blocked aid

Egyptian security officials say a border guard has been shot dead in a scuffle with Palestinians along the Gaza border.

One official said Wednesday that the border guard was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper while Gazan youths hurled stones across the border at the Egyptian security forces.

Egyptian forces opened fire on Palestinians who were pelting them with rocks from the other side of the border over frustration that an aid convoy had been delayed.

Gaza's Hamas rulers called for the protest earlier over the delay of an international aid convoy at the nearby Egyptian port city of El-Arish, but soon lost control of the situation as hundreds of youths began hurling rocks across the border at the guards.

Hamas police fired shots to disperse the crowd and shots were also heard from the Egyptian side the border. Palestinian health official Moawiya Hassanein said the injuries were from gunfire and tear gas.

The incident follows a late night clash between international pro-Gaza activists and Egyptian security clashed at the nearby Mediterranean port of El-Arish when Egypt refused to allow part of the convoy to enter its territory and move on to Gaza.

More than 50 activists and over a dozen members of the security forces injured. Activists briefly seized some policemen as well.

The clashes add to the embarrassment of Egypt, which has come under fire from Arab and Muslim groups for cooperating with Israel in its 28-month blockade of the impoverished territory. The blockade was imposed after Hamas violently seized control of the territory from the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

More than 500 international activists accompanied the convoy organized by the British-based group Viva Palestina, bringing tons of humanitarian supplies, as well as vehicles, to Gaza. The group includes British, American, Jordanian and Turkish activists and lawmakers.

The scuffles at the port broke out late Tuesday at al-Arish port building when authorities told the organizers that out of the nearly 200 vehicles, some 59 can't enter Gaza through Egypt, but must go through Israeli terminals.

A security official said the vehicles in question are carrying pickup trucks, sedans, generators and other equipment, which are not allowed to pass through the Egyptian crossing at Rafah and had to go via Israel. Only medical aid and passengers are allowed through, the official said.

British MP George Galloway told Sky News television that the activists were negotiating with authorities and refusing to leave behind their vehicles.

"We refused this because it's a breach of the agreement which we reached," he said. "It is completely unconscionable."

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said the rules were clear from the start, and accused the activists of coordinating with Hamas to create problems. He said the private automobiles are not considered humanitarian goods, and must enter from Israel.

"We didn't mislead anyone. They have their interests ... and they want to make up problems and clash with Egypt," he told The Associated Press.

"We are activists. We condemn the Israeli siege to start with. We will only enter through an Egyptian-Palestinian crossing," said Wael al-Sakka, a Jordanian activist.

Alice Howard, a spokeswoman for the group, said organizers were negotiating with an Egyptian security official, who said he would come back with answers.

But instead, 2,000 riot police returned, spraying the activists with water cannons, and hurling rocks.

Television reports showed images of both riot police and activists hurling stones at each other and said clashes began when angry protesters attempted to leave the port area and were driven back by riot police.

Howard, speaking from London, said more than 50 activists were injured in the scuffle, including to the head and neck. The group's Web site showed images of injured activists.

An Egyptian security official said the activists used two trucks to block the port gates, burned tires, and briefly detained a police officer and four of his men. They were later released, some with broken ribs.

The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Al-Sakka, the Jordanian activist, said the police charged a peaceful sit-in at the gates of the port. He said the group was not allowed to get out of the port building, denying government claims they have took control of the premise.

The Egyptians were too high-strung. The police is the reason for the tension, al-Sakka said.

He said six activists were detained, including Americans and British citizens.

The security official said five were detained, but didn't identify them. U.S. embassy officials did not immediately have information on the arrests.

Turkey urges Egypt to free Gaza activists,7340 ... 79,00.html

Following violent clashes in El-Arish, Turkish foreign minister telephones Egyptian counterpart, asks him to release members of aid convoy.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu telephoned his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Aboul Gheit several times Tuesday night and urged him to release members of an aid convoy blocked at El-Arish following violent clashes.

About 55 people were injured late Tuesday in clashes between Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian activists trying to get a relief convoy into the Gaza Strip, militants and medics said.

Some 520 activists belonging to the convoy - led by charismatic and outspoken British MP George Galloway - broke down the gate at the port in El-Arish to protest an Egyptian decision to ship some of the goods through Israel.

They blocked the two entrances to the Sinai port with vehicles, and clashed with police. Forty were injured, a source close to them said, while medical sources said 15 policemen were also hurt.

The protests were sparked by an Egyptian decision to allow 139 vehicles to enter Gaza through the Rafah bordering crossing, about 45 kilometers (30 miles) from El-Arish, but requiring a remaining 59 vehicles to pass via Israel.

Talks in which Galloway and a delegation of Turkish MPs sought to change the Egyptian's minds proved unsuccessful.

Galloway said Israel was likely to prevent convoy lorries entering Gaza. He told Sky News, "It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza."

In Istanbul, thousands of protesters staged a demonstration to condemn the Egyptian police crackdown on the Gaza-bound aid convoy. The protestors marched towards the Egyptian Consulate in the Turkish capital and held a picture of assassinated Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniyah and a picture titled "the picture of betrayal", showing Egyptian President Hosni Muabark shaking hands with former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

Tuesday's demonstration joined a wave of protests against Mubarak across the Arab world. The Hamas organization in Gaza called on Palestinians on Wednesday morning to stage protests calling on the Egyptian authorities to allow the entry of the foreign activists.

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PostWed Jan 06, 2010 5:16 pm » by Lowsix

concrete wrote:To be honest.
I know it's a wasted question.
But, would there be Gazan terrorist?
If the blockaid on Gaza was lifted?

I know I can't win.

Man, ive always thought you and i were on the same side of the fence, even if our views tend to get re-interpreted as though we are saying that the palestinians hold NO responsibility whatsoever..because i am in lockstep with you on the "two to tango deal"...(so, with that acknowledged...) <----so if anyone decides to reinterpret my post, read this..several times.

I think, like you, I have always REALLY wondered the genuine,
real world, real answer to that question.

Without the walls, the blockades, all of it...
Would these kids be 'terrorists"?

That question gets smeared with all of the usual rhetoric of denial of "First Causes", and we hear about how, without Palestinian terror, we wouldnt have IDF retaliation and all that, and yea yeah we get that..


Im becoming a big fan of getting back to that "First Cause" Business (and honest examination of it), whereas in this world, it seems that the focus ALWAYS goes to the "Reaction"..and not the "First Cause".

So it's fair to ask again, without the Blockades, the settlers, the IDF heavy handedness, the checkpoints, border Cross closings, olive grove saltings, water fouling, collective punishments, sniper attacks on children..

Would there be a Palestinian Terrorist?

Why is it that the entire world asks the same basic question,
and never gets a straight answer? Even by those who readily admit
that a majority of the Iraqi insurgency was BECAUSE of the american occupation, and not some inate hatred of America..

warløckmitbladderinfection wrote:blasphemous new gehenna inhabitant makes god sad...

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PostWed Jan 06, 2010 6:39 pm » by Proto
Hamas's 1988 charter calls for replacing the State of Israel with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.However, Khaled Meshal, Hamas's Damascus-based political bureau chief, stated in 2009 that the group would accept the creation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and, although unwilling to negotiate a permanent peace with Israel, has offered a temporary, "long-term truce", or hudna, that would be valid for ten years.

hudna = "What is being touted as a 'cease-fire' is something called a 'hudna.' A hudna [also known as a hudibiyya or khudaibiya] is a tactical cease-fire that allows the Arabs to rebuild their terrorist infrastructure in order to be more effective when the "cease-fire" is called off."

Gaza: Armed Palestinian Groups Commit Grave Crimes
Fighters Execute Captives, Attack Hospital, Put Journalists at Serious Risk
June 12, 2007

These attacks by both Hamas and Fatah constitute brutal assaults on the most fundamental humanitarian principles. The murder of civilians not engaged in hostilities and the willful killing of captives are war crimes, pure and simple.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch

During recent fighting in the Gaza Strip, armed Palestinian groups have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, in some cases amounting to war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today.

In internal Palestinian fighting over the last three days, both Fatah and Hamas military forces have summarily executed captives, killed people not involved in hostilities, and engaged in gun battles with one another inside and near Palestinian hospitals. On Saturday, armed Palestinians from Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade used a vehicle with a “TV” insignia to attack an Israeli military position on the border with Gaza.

“These attacks by both Hamas and Fatah constitute brutal assaults on the most fundamental humanitarian principles,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch. “The murder of civilians not engaged in hostilities and the willful killing of captives are war crimes, pure and simple.”

On Sunday, Hamas military forces captured 28-year-old Muhammad Swairki, a cook for President Mahmoud Abbas’s presidential guard, and executed him by throwing him to his death, with his hands and legs tied, from a 15-story apartment building in Gaza City. Later that night, Fatah military forces shot and captured Muhammad al-Ra’fati, a Hamas supporter and mosque preacher, and threw him from a Gaza City high-rise apartment building. On Monday, Hamas military forces attacked the home in Beit Lahiya of Jamal Abu al-Jadiyan, a senior Fatah official, captured him, and executed him on the street with multiple gunshots. On Tuesday, there were reports of additional killings of individuals not involved in hostilities.

In addition, Fatah and Hamas forces engaged in battles in and around two Gaza Strip hospitals on Monday. After Hamas fighters killed Fatah intelligence officer Yasir Bakar, Fatah gunmen began firing mortars and rocket-propelled grenades at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, drawing Hamas fire from inside the building, killing one Hamas and one Fatah fighter. At a hospital in Beit Hanun, three family members with ties to Fatah, `Id al-Masri and his sons, Farij and Ibrahim, were killed, and others wounded. Hospital officials reported that the three were being treated for injuries sustained earlier. One was reportedly shot at close range.

All parties engaged in armed conflict are subject to customary international humanitarian law, which forbids deliberate harming of civilians and those who are not engaged in armed hostilities at the time, Human Rights Watch said. International humanitarian law also provides special protection to medical personnel and hospitals. Military and civilian hospitals and medical units must be protected and respected in all circumstances.

In the June 9 incident, four armed Palestinians drove a white jeep bearing “TV” insignias to a fence on the Gaza-Israel border and fired at Israeli soldiers. The Israelis returned fire, killing one Palestinian. Spokesmen for Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an offshoot of Fatah, claimed responsibility for the attack. An Islamic Jihad spokesperson denied that Palestinians had put press markings on the jeep used in the June 9 attack, and accused the Israeli military of doing so after the fact. However, photos taken by the Associated Press as the attack was under way show the letters “TV” written in red on the front of the jeep.

“Using a vehicle with press markings to carry out a military attack is a serious violation of the laws of war, and it also puts journalists at risk,” said Whitson.

Customary international humanitarian law provides that journalists not taking direct part in hostilities in armed conflict zones “shall be considered as civilians.” The deliberate abuse of this protected status in order to breach the confidence of an adversary in an attempt to kill, injure or capture them, would amount to an act of perfidy, a serious violation of international humanitarian law.

The Palestinian Journalists Union on Sunday criticized the use by armed factions of press insignia in a statement: “The use of vehicles that carry ‘Press,’ ‘TV’ or other signs ... exposes journalists’ lives to danger, gives the Israeli occupation a pretext to target and kill journalists and restricts their ability to perform their professional and national duties. … We demand all parties stop using these methods.” ... ave-crimes

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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:18 am

PostMon Jan 11, 2010 12:31 pm » by Proto

Egyptian mosques, press berate Hamas,7340 ... 85,00.html

In wake of Egyptian soldier's death at hands of Palestinian sniper during protest against delay of aid convoy's entry to Gaza, imams say Hamas to blame for blockade on Strip, its leaders 'want to stay in power even at cost of their people's starvation'. Op-ed: Killing Egyptians won't liberate Palestine.

Mosques throughout Egypt took advantage of Friday prayers to criticize Hamas over the killing of an Egyptian soldier by a sniper belonging to the Islamist group during riots that erupted earlier this week along the country's border with Gaza.

London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday that most of the 140,000 mosques operating under the auspices of Egypt's Ministry of Awqaf took part in the verbal onslaught on the Palestinian Islamist group.

An imam at the Ibad el-Rahman Mosque in Cairo called the soldier's death a "tragedy", and, addressing the Palestinian sniper, said, "What will you tell your god tomorrow?"

Egypt declares UK politician persona non grata,7340 ... 87,00.html

Egypt on Friday declared renegade British lawmaker George Galloway persona non grata, accusing him of incitement after his harsh criticism of Cairo over delays in an aid convoy's entry into Gaza, the foreign ministry said Friday.

"George Galloway is considered persona non grata and will not be allowed to enter into Egypt again," a Foreign Ministry statement said. The activist left Egypt Friday morning from Cairo airport.

Earlier, British press reported Galloway had been deported from Egypt. They said he was forcefully taken by police from the Rafah crossing with Gaza to Cairo airport where was put on departing British Airways plane.

A police officer maintained security only escorted him for his own protection.

"It was to protect him from the Egyptian people's anger," he said on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to the media. "He was told that he is a trouble maker and his behavior is undermining Egyptian security."

Galloway led more than 500 activists as part of an international aid convoy to Gaza. They entered Gaza late Wednesday from Egypt after a month traveling. Egypt gave them only 24 hours in the blockaded sea side strip before it said it would reclose the crossing.

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