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Hamas asks Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing
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21:53, April 15, 2008

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Supporters of Islamic Hamas movement erected a protest tent in front of Rafah crossing point in southern Gaza Strip to demand the reopening of the Egyptian borders.

Tens of Hamas supporters, including women, children and officials, participated the sit-in tent protest, which will last for three days.

The demonstrators raised banners slamming the Arab and Muslim nations for their position towards Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip.

They also set up a symbolic cemetery called "the Arab silence graveyard" near the tent, representing tens of victims who the authorities said died due to the lack of medicine or access to outside hospitals.

Israel has sealed off all crossing points into the strip since June last year following Hamas' violent takeover of the enclave from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' forces.

From its side, Egypt also maintained the closing of Rafah crossing with the strip, which Israel doesn't physically control.

Ahmed Bahar, the deputy speaker of the Hamas-held Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), has urged Egypt to open the crossing to avoid more deterioration of the Palestinian humanitarian crisis as Israel has been completely holding off fuel shipments into Gaza.

"The siege paralyzed all aspects of life," he said, questioned "shall the Arabic petrol keep on going to the Israeli tanks which kill our people?"

However, Hamas has denied earlier Egyptian press reports which accused the Islamic movement of trying to breach the borders by force.

Source: Xinhua

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