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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 01/24/2008
EGYPT – ISRAEL – PALESTINE
Egypt blocks Palestinian ‘exodus’ in Rafah
Since yesterday Egypt’s border police has allowed some 350,000 Gazans to reach Rafah driven by the need to buy food and fuel. Ordered by Egyptian President Mubarack, police is today stopping cars and people illegally coming through the breaks in the border wall. In Israel the country’s High Court is asked to hear a petition presented by some associations who want the blockade lifted.

Rafah (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Egyptian security forces are stopping hundreds of Palestinian cars who for the second time in as many days are trying to cross the border through the blown-out wall in search of food, medicines and fuel. The net effect has been that tensions have gradually risen since this morning with brawls and scuffles breaking out between Egyptian border police and “fleeing” Gazans.

According to the United Nations, more than 350,000 people have crossed the border since yesterday to enter Egypt after parts of the border wall was destroyed overnight Tuesday. This surge by Palestinians into Rafah to buy essential items to take home was set off by Israel’s recent blockade of the Strip which was dealing a crushing blow to the population.

Initially Egypt remained neutral, allowing Palestinians to cross without hindrance. But now eyewitnesses are saying that Egyptian police are ordering Palestinians to go back to Gaza, beating their cars with truncheons.

This comes after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarack instructed his border police to stop anyone trying to illegally cross the border.

Just a few hours earlier a Foreign Ministry spokesperson had announced that the Rafah crossing would remain open because of the “humanitarian crisis.”

Yesterday Hamas, which rules Gaza, called for an “urgent” meeting with representatives of Egypt and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to study measures for joint control of the border.

But the PNA rejected the proposal accusing the Islamist group of embarrassing the Egyptians with its wall demolition and trying to get Arab support for its own goals.

For his part, Khaled Mashaal, the Damascus-based Hamas leader, appealed to the Arab countries to work toward ending the international boycott of the Hamas government and to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile some Israeli and Palestinian organisations have filed a petition with Israel’s High Court to end the blockade. For this the tribunal is set to hold a special hearing on Sunday.


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See also
06/21/2007 ISRAEL – PALESTINE
Fallout from Palestinian crisis to be discussed at four-party summit next Monday
03/06/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
Gaza priest: "They want to kill us all slowly"
by Joshua Lapide
02/01/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
The Gaza border is under control, while Egypt is pushing Hamas and Abbas to dialogue
01/03/2009 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
Israel kills another Hamas leader. Gaza offensive continues
by Joshua Lapide
02/25/2008 PALESTINE – ISRAEL
Human chain against Gaza blockade

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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