Thursday, July 31, 2014

Despite protest ban, 100s protest in solidarity with Gaza

Ahram Online
Solidarity march in downtown Cairo is also critical of Egypt's rulers - who protesters say haven't done enough to help besieged Gazans
Sunday 13 Jul 2014

Mai Shaheen

A few hundred Egyptians took part in a solidarity rally with the Palestinian Gaza Strip in downtown Cairo on Sunday, chanting against Israeli attacks that have killed over 165 Gazans, mostly civilians, during the past week.

The protest call was launched by a solidarity movement, the Popular Campaign to Support the Palestinian Intifada, which is putting together a convoy of medical supplies needed in Gaza.

Protesters gathered at Egypt's Journalists Syndicate headquarters in downtown Cairo to have Iftar, the meal that breaks Muslims' fast in the holy month of Ramadan, and then held the demonstration, marching in a rally throughout the area.

Ahmad Saqr, 23, an artist, said Palestinians are facing all kinds of human rights violations. "I support Hamas since it represents resistance against Israel," he told Ahram Online. Saqr is worried the convoy won't be allowed in Gaza.

Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades fired hundreds of rockets into Israel after the launch of Israel's Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday.

Some chants were critical of Egyptian authorities, accusing them of colluding with Israel against Palestinians by closing the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.

The crossing was opened intermittently to allow injured Palestinians to seek medical care in Egyptian hospitals.

"The crossing must be opened permanently," said Nashwa Ahmed, 45, who will ride with the convoy to Gaza this week.

She thinks Egypt's stance towards Gaza is disappointing.

Protesters carried pictures of killed Gazans and chanted defiant slogans. "Oh Palestinian my beloved, destroy Tel Aviv," which rhymes in Arabic, was chanted.

"Down with Israel," protesters repeated.

*Photo by Mai Shaheen

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