Egyptian Assistance to Palestinians in Gaza

In addition to offering the only attempt on the floor – the Egyptian Initiative – to stop Palestinian bloodletting and to bring the ongoing Palestinian suffering to an end, Egypt continues to provide material assistance to the people of Gaza.  To the “few” who complain about Egyptian support to Palestinians in Gaza during the current Israeli assault, I say: read what Reuters (United Kingdom) reported today:

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/08/02/mideast-gaza-egypt-aid-idUKL6N0Q80L420140802

Excerpt:  “Egypt has added an extra seven megawatts to the 27 it feeds into Gaza and plans to increase that by 15 megawatts more in an effort to alleviate the electricity crisis.”

More… “Egypt has allowed 2,800 tonnes of medicine and medical items, 800 tonnes of food, 10 ambulances and 49 tonnes of dates through the Rafah crossing on the Egypt- Gaza border.”

More… “3,100 patients and 1,200 Palestinians with foreign passports as well as 2,000 Egyptians and Palestinian holders of Egyptian passports were allowed into Egypt through the crossing.”

Egyptian officials consider this assistance to be Egypt’s duty, and as such, they do not talk much about performing their duty.  Most of them, I believe, wish to offer much more assistance, but they are limited by security considerations, economic limitations, and logistical difficulties, etc.  The lack of media coverage of Egyptian assistance leaves the field wide open to groups like the Muslim Brotherhood to spread their lies and vulgar attacks on Egypt and her leaders.

Egypt continues to work closely with the Palestinian leadership, including the unified Palestinian National Unity Government, and coordinates all of her moves with the Palestinian leadership.  However, the Egyptian government needs to significantly improve government communication structure in order to control the message that resonates with the public.  The “No Thanks for Doing One’s Duty” principle is honourable but is not sufficient.  People need to know, and government must communicate with the public so that Egyptians know what their government is doing, especially under exceptional circumstances.

While I believe that Egypt can, and will, provide more assistance to the Palestinian people, in more ways than one, I wonder… What did the Ikhwaan (i.e. Muslim Brotherhood) offer Palestinians in Gaza?  We all know the answer.  In addition to many fiery speeches, lots and lots of words, thousands upon thousands of Facebook posts, tens of thousands of twitter entries, the Ikhwaan provided A VERY BIG NOTHING.

Thank you, Egypt… We (The Palestinians, especially in Gaza) love you too!

Monzer Zimmo
2014/08/02
Ottawa, Canada

Hope is the stuff from which life is made!

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About Alcanaanite

Monzer Zimmo, a Palestinian-Canadian living and working in Ottawa, Canada. Monzer is an advocate of resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the peaceful creation of a bi-national-democratic state on all the territory of historic Palestine, where Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others live together as equal citizens; be and feel safe, secure, and at home.
This entry was posted in Arab Awakening, Arab Peace Initiative, Egypt's Revolution, Gaza Blockade, Palestine Liberation Organization, Palestinian Reconciliation. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Egyptian Assistance to Palestinians in Gaza

  1. NICOLAS SAYEGH says:

    My Friend! That is not enough. They must open the border and allow other help to enter if they decided not to participate. Sissi, Saudi King and Netanyahu are the trio against the Gazans and the Palestine cause. At least this is what the news is saying. On the other hand if they really help then it is part of their duty without thanks.

    • Alcanaanite says:

      Abu-Mazen,

      Our culture dictates: “He who gives says: it is a duty, and he who receives says: thank you!” I respectfully differ with your assessment of certain Arab leaders. But I uphold your right to have those views and to express them.

      Monzer

  2. Nowadays, some liberal and secular Arabs who have a strong dislike for political Islam are getting blinded to the crimes being committed by Israel and the complicity of some Arab leaders who are siding with Israel.
    From someone living in Cairo I can assure you that coup-president el-Sisi is no friend of Palestine. The reality on the ground is that since taking power in a military coup in July 2013, el-Sisi has:
    1) has acted as a policeman for Israel in Sinai and Gaza in the same manner that Abbas acts a policeman for Israel in the West Bank
    2) destroyed 1692 tunnels that brought much needed food, medicine, building materials and other important items to the people of Gaza. Accordingly, now 75 percent of the children of Gaza who make up half the population suffer from anemia.
    3) during the first 4 months of this year the Rafah crossing was only open 12 days to allow the movement of Palestinians
    4) the government controlled media spews venomous articles against Palestinians, which exceed anything I have seen written or said by pro-Zionists in Canada. Some have gone so far as saying that the people of Gaza deserve the genocide being committed by Israel because they voted for Hamas.
    5) .Palestinians are closely monitored and are afraid to identify themselves in public for fear of being insulted and harassed.
    6) el-Sisii receiving $2.8 billion from the US and he is spending it on securing Israel’s borders by killing and arresting Egyptian militants who try to attack Israel from Sinai
    7) el-Sisi cooked up a toothless favourable Israeli ceasefire proposal with Kerry and Netanyahu without consulting the resistance movements knowing very well that it would be rejected this polishing Israel’s image as a peace-loving country and giving it justification to launch a murderous ground assault on Gaza.

    With friends like that Palestine does not need enemies..

    • Alcanaanite says:

      Dear friend,

      And…. you and I are among tens of thousands of Palestinians who live in Egypt – many of whom share your views against the Egyptian regime – and are able to publicly express their thoughts and opinions against El-Sisi and the entire Egyptian military establishment. None, absolutely no Palestine was arrested, jailed, or in any way harassed by Egyptian authorities because of his/her views against El-Sisi. If you claim otherwise, name one – just one – Palestinian who is arrested, jailed, or in any way harassed by the Egyptian authorities for expressing his/her views against El-Sisi or any institution of the current regime in Egypt. I know many Palestinians who share your views, who live in Egypt, who express their views against the current regime in Egypt openly and regularly, who conduct their businesses freely, and who travel in and out of the country without any limitation or restriction whatsoever. You, yourself, are a prime example of the respectful treatment that I experienced every day of my stay in Egypt. If it were true that Palestinians are monitored – as you claim – you, and thousands of other Palestinians who share your views would be in jail by now. It seems that you are going about your life in Egypt comfortably and are expressing your views in public without being insulted, arrested, jailed, or harassed by Egyptian authorities. Thank God, and I uphold your right to hold those views and to express them freely. The point is: the Egyptian authorities are not insulting, arresting, jailing, or harassing you (or any other Palestinian) for freely and openly exercising your rights! While we agree that the Egyptian authorities are not doing you any favours by not restricting your exercise of your rights, we must be truthful and recognize that they are not violating your rights either. More importantly, we must recognize that those who feel that they are “monitored” or afraid to identify themselves as Palestinians for fear of being insulted and harassed are a tiny minority that does not reflect the much greater majority who live in Egypt and feel free and comfortable. The few who feel “monitored” need to evaluate their fear that is not justified by material evidence; in fact the evidence stands strong in refuting such fears. Palestinians are treated fairly and respectfully in Egypt; some would even say that they are treated better then Egyptians in their own country. But that is an Egyptian (and Arab) trait; they welcome guests to their country and treat them with respect.

      My own experience seems to differ from your claim that Palestinians are afraid to identify themselves in public for fear of being insulted or harassed. My Arabic accent clearly identifies me as non-Egyptian. When Egyptians ask me and I inform them that I am Palestinian, the reaction is invariably welcoming me with open arms; some literally with hugs. I met Egyptians on the streets, in restaurants, in stores, in coffee shops, in mosques, in political rallies, in cultural events, in hospitals, in educational lectures, in political parties’ organized events, in taxis, in friends’ houses, in tourist venues, in sports clubs, in Nadi El-Gezeera, in Cairo, in Alexandria, in Es-Saahel Esh-Shamali, in El-Ein El-Sukhna, in Siwa, in Ras-Elbarr; you name it, I met Egyptians almost throughout Egypt. My interest in any encounter with new people I meet is always focused on the Palestinian cause and the plight of the Palestinian people. The many Egyptians I encounter sympathize with me and start praying for God to help the Palestinians and give them victory over the criminal Zionist Israelis and return them to their homeland. You and I seem to have been living in two different countries!

      The Egyptian initiative that you describe as “toothless” aimed at stopping Palestinian bloodletting and to bringing Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people in Gaza to an early end. It called for both parties to stop military operations and to go to Egypt to negotiate – through Egyptian mediators – the terms and condition for a longer term ceasefire. Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejected that initiative, only because it was “Egyptian” in order to deny El-Sisi and the Egyptian regime the credit for stopping the Israeli assault on Gaza. They claimed that Egypt proposed its initiative without talking to them. The fact of the matter was that Egypt drafted its initiative with full participation of the unified Palestinian government as was announced by Abu-Mazen himself. The unified Palestinian government, with whom Egypt coordinated its initiative, is the same government that was approved by all Palestinian parties, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, when they unanimously declared that they have finally achieved Palestinian internal reconciliation with a government that all parties support with Mahmud Abbas (Abu-Mazen) leading it. Secondly, let us assume that the Egyptian initiative was designed to be rejected by Hamas and others. Can you explain how would Hamas fall into that so-called trap and reject the Egyptian initiative – that was accepted by the entire world, including China, Russia, the United States, the European Union, the Arab League, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Israeli government – thereby giving the criminal Netanyahu an opportunity to justify continuing his war crimes against the Palestinian people?

      They should have accepted the Egyptian initiative the minute it was announced, and should have gone to Cairo and demand all that they are demanding today (and more). Unfortunately, in their decision making mechanisms, Hamas and Islamic Jihad gave more weight to their ideological commitment to the Muslim Brotherhood than to what was in the best interest of the Palestinian people, especially in Gaza. Unfortunately, they did not and the result was more than 1,600 additional Palestinian deaths, more than 5,000 additional Palestinian injuries, tens of thousands of Palestinian homes destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians without a shelter, international political cover to more Israeli bombardments on Palestinians in Gaza, Israeli military infiltrating deep into Gaza from the north and from the east, and no hope for an end in sight to the Israeli assault on Gaza except a reduced version of the Egyptian initiative that Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others are negotiating today in Cairo, of all places.

      Give me a break!

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