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Gazans protest against Rafah closure

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Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip have staged a demonstration to slam Egypt’s military over its closure of the Rafah border crossing, Press TV reports.

On Sunday, angry demonstrators gathered at the crossing, calling for an immediate and permanent reopening of the closed gate, which is vital to Palestinians in the territory.

The protesters say the measure by the military-backed Egyptian government is adding to their sufferings caused by the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

“They are working hand in hand with the Israelis to tighten the blockade. The Egyptian military must reopen the Rafah crossing and stop playing into the hands of Israel,” a protestor said.

“The Egyptian people are our brothers and we are calling on them to pressure their government to break this illegal blockade,” he added.

Some of the protesters also said acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas was responsible for the recent restrictions on Gaza.

“Mahmoud Abbas’s term in office has expired and he must stop inciting Egyptian military against the Gaza Strip,” another protestor said, adding that restrictions against Gaza have increased following a recent visit by the Palestinian Authority chief to Egypt.

Since July 3, the Egyptian military has tightened restrictions on Rafah. It has launched a campaign to destroy the supply tunnels leading into Gaza, which bring basic supplies to the Gazans in the besieged enclave.

The destruction of the tunnels has reportedly led to an increase in the price of fuel and other commodities in the coastal territory. Palestinians have to wait in long lines at gas stations and face daily power outages that last up to 14 hours.

Several human rights organizations and civil groups have criticized the Egyptian army for preventing the people in Gaza from accessing most of their basic goods like construction materials, food, and fuel.

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