Wednesday, January 19, 2005
2,000 Palestinians Stuck at Rafah Border Crossing for 55 Days
For the past 55 days, at least 2,000 Palestinians are held at the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing and are prevented from arriving back to their homes in the Gaza Strip.
"We already buried the sixth body, most of the people stuck here are Palestinians who left to Egypt for medical treatment" said a Palestinian at the Egyptian side of the border crossing point.
Israel closed the crossing border point following an attack at the military base near the crossing two months ago. The crossing point has been closed since then.
Palestinians has been demanding Israel to open the crossing point to allow Palestinians to celebrate Al-Adha, the holiest Islamic feast, with their families, describing closing the border point as a collective punishment measure.
Hani Jabour, a PA employee at the Egyptian side of the border crossing, described the situation of families who are stuck there as drastic and inhuman.
"At least two thousand people, many are children and sick, are living on the little food provided by the Egyptian red crescent." He said.
" Israel did not allow us to move the bodies of the ones who died to their families inside Gaza in order to burry them. This is unbearable" he added.
Jabour suggested that Israel allows Palestinians to pas through other crossings, if it was impossible for them to open the Rafah crossing, saying that Israel had repeatedly rejected such possibility.
Israeli army source confirmed that the order to close all the crossings to Gaza is still in effect.