A year after Israel’s vicious “Operation Cast Lead” assault against the Gaza Strip, which left over 1,400 Palestinians — including 355 children — dead, thousands more wounded and tens of thousands of homes destroyed while devastating Palestinian health care, educational and economic infrastructure in Gaza, the siege that has continued since that day is being tightened further by the Egyptian government, in violation of the wishes of its people.
The Egyptian people have a long and proud history of support for the just cause of the Palestinian people and led the Arab nation to confront colonization and economic domination. It comes today as a bitter shock and appalling reality that the government of Egypt now is implementing a policy of separation and division at the behest of the United States government and Israel that is harmful and dangerous to the Egyptian and Palestinian people.
The Egyptian government is actively participating in starving Palestinians by building a steel underground wall along Egypt’s border with Gaza. According to British newspapers, the barrier stretching over 40 meters into the ground, designed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, is being built under the supervision of French and American intelligence officials. The new wall will be supplemented by a series of electronic sensors detecting movement and reinforced with a system of pipes through which seawater would be passed to flood the tunnels used by Gazans as a lifeline to smuggle desperately needed food, consumer goods, fuel and medical supplies to the besieged Strip. Furthermore, the use of seawater in this way would help destroy the soil on the Palestinian side of the wall.
Adding insult to injury, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donated medical equipment, school supplies and winter clothing are awaiting delivery to Gaza via its border with Egypt. The Egyptian government continues to prevent the over 1,400 members of the Gaza Freedom March from participating in an international march to break the siege of Gaza, and the Viva Palestina 3 caravan from delivering its hundreds of thousands of dollars much-needed supplies.
The US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN), standing in full solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Gaza, as well as the heroic organizers and participants of the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina, calls on the government of Egypt to:
1. End its siege of Gaza, the longest blockade in history since World War 2, including permanently opening the Rafah crossing.
2. Terminate its plans to build the “Wall of Shame” on border between Gaza and Egypt. As detailed by numerous humanitarian groups, Egypt’s wall will cut Gaza from desperately needed food, medicine and other essentials for the survival of its 1.5 million people.
3. Permit the entry into Gaza of all members of the Gaza Freedom March and Viva Palestina and exercise all efforts in support of breaking the siege.
The US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) is a grassroots body for Palestinians in the United States, with an elected democratic leadership from over 20 cities. Visit our website, at www.palestineconference.org, for news, action alerts, key political issues and an updated calendar of events.