Gazans start hunger strike over Rafah closure

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SHAFAQNA - The people of Gaza who have been unable to travel due to the Rafah crossing closure began an open hunger strike on Tuesday, calling for Egyptians to open it.

The hunger strikers set up a tent near the crossing and put up a number of posters including: “People stuck in Gaza call for Egyptian Authorities to open the Rafah crossing in both directions.”

Another poster read: “We call for the UN and all human rights organisations to facilitate the travel of Gaza’s patients… Gaza’s patients are awaiting death because of the closure of the crossing. We are humans… Where are President Abbas and the unity government?”

Days of Palestine reported that the Gazans participating in the hunger striker said that they would continue until the crossing is opened, calling for the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian unity government to ensure that it is opened.

A spokesman for the strikers, Majdi abu-Kareem said that around 15,000 Palestinians need to travel urgently and they are “just waiting for the crossing to open”.

“Some of the people who are unable to travel are patients, some are university students and some are foreign passport holders facing expiration deadlines,” he said. “The passports of a number of foreign passport holders have expired.”

“The continuous closure of the crossing increases the suffering of the people of Gaza,” Abu-Kareem said. “The closure makes the coastal enclave the biggest prison in the world.”

 

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