Photo: AP
Demanding relief. Protestors at Rafah Crossing
Photo: AP

Report: Dozens hurt in Rafah Crossing clashes

Egyptian troops fight off Palestinian protestors gathered at crossing, calling for its immediate opening as means to ease Israeli siege on Gaza. Egyptians use dogs, water hoses to scatter protestors; several Palestinians arrested

Thousands of Palestinian protestors clashed with Egyptian security forces at Rafah Crossing Tuesday, after demanding the crossing be opened in order to ease the Gaza siege.


Palestinians reported of 50 female protestors injured, 15 of them suffering gunshot wounds while the rest lost consciousness.


The Egyptian security forces fought off the protestors, beating them and using dogs and water hoses to push them back. Several Palestinians were arrested by the Egyptian forces.


Sources in the Strip reported that among the demonstrators were representatives of Hamas' women organizations, and groups representing the ill and wounded of Gaza.


Some of the protestors were able to ram through the crossing onto its Egyptian side, where hundreds of Egyptian troops awaited them, and dispersed then using clubs.


The Egyptians forces apparently deployed ahead of time, expecting such an incident.


Palestinian organizations have threatened such a move several times over the past few days, saying that should the Egyptians keep Rafah Crossing closed, they would force their way through it, in order to ease the blockade on Gaza.


Some of the protestors hurled rocks at security personnel, reproaching them for what they called "the Egyptian and Arab nations' participation in the Gaza siege conspiracy."


Meanwhile, on the other side of the Gaza border, Arab MKs gathered in protest Israel's closure of the Strip.


During the demonstration, Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) told MK Effie Eitam (National Union-National Religious Party) that he was "a vile murderer of civilians."


Eitam responded, "Ahmad Tibi is a traitor, and along with (former MK) Azmi Bishara's friends standing across from us, he is trying to weaken the State of Israel.


פרסום ראשון: 01.22.08, 14:47