Friday, November 28, 2008

Egyptian Police Crackdown Against Students Calling for Lifting of Siege Imposed on Gaza Strip

AFP - Egypt police beat protestors
Nov 26, 2008

Baton-wielding Egyptian riot police clashed with hundreds of students at Cairo University who were protesting today against the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

About 600 police clashed with 300 students at the downtown campus, an AFP photographer said. At least one demonstrator needed treatment for head wounds.

Police entered the campus, the photographer said, despite a court uling barring them from university grounds.

The students were independents or members of different opposition groups, said a Muslim Brotherhood official.

Yesterday the Islamist group had called on the government to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, which Israel blockaded after Hamas seized the territory from the Fatah-dominated government in 2007.

Egypt occasionally opens the crossing to allow Palestinians, usually medical patients, students or pilgrims, to enter and leave the impoverished coastal strip.

"There is a consensus by different national parties that it is our responsibility to lift this siege on Gaza," said senior Brotherhood activist Essam el-Arian.

The government has barred several attempts by the Brotherhood and opposition activists to send convoys of medical supplies through Rafah.

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