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Rafah, the only available crossing for ordinary Palestinians who wants to travel to or from the Gaza strip, has been virtually closed since 3 of July. The closure has devastating consequences for the everyday life of the Palestinians. Ill people can’t travel for treatments, students can’t reach their universities, and families are separated. The fuel shortage is acute and the access to drinkable water and electricity deteriorates. The Egyptian government has destroyed or closed down a big part of the tunnels that has provided the people in Gaza with an important part of their daily supplies.
The negative effects of the blockade of the Gaza strip that Israel has upheld since 2007, despite the many appeals of the international community, is now amplified by Egypt’s actions. It is clear that the Rafah crossing and the tunnels was a safety valve for Gaza. It is now closed.
We turn directly to Egypt and demand an immediate halt to the enforcement and compliance with the Israeli blockade. Open the border for all peaceful travel and trade!
The international community, including the Swedish government, must take strong action to put an immediate end to this long standing collective punishment of 1.7 million people.
Dror Feiler, Ann Ighe, Victoria Strand
Spokespersons for Ship to Gaza Sweden