Friday, June 10, 2011

Gaza Crossing Lets Trickle Through

By Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Jun 9, 2011 (IPS) - Egypt's border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip was reopened to Palestinian travellers Wednesday after a series of squabbles over operational procedures had temporarily brought cross-border traffic to a halt...

Gamal Zahran, political science professor at Suez Canal University and former MP, says that daily passenger limits ought to be scrapped altogether if Egypt is to fulfil its vow to permanently reopen the border.

"The travel-ban list, meanwhile, which was drawn up under the former regime, should be modified with input from Hamas," Zahran told IPS. "What's more, the crossing must be opened up to commercial traffic, while urgent humanitarian cases should be allowed through at all times."

The Muslim Brotherhood's al-Arian, for his part, attributed the recent confusion to more than just red tape.

"Egypt is subject to behind-the-scenes pressure by the U.S. and Israel to maintain the Mubarak-era status quo at the border," he said. "These forces are keen to pre-empt Egypt's post-revolutionary foreign-policy realignments - especially those pertaining to Hamas and the Gaza file."...."

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