GAZA,-- Palestinian medical sources have reported that 35 Palestinian citizens were wounded by Egyptian gunfire Wednesday evening when dozens of them rallied near Salahuddin terminal in Rafah area in protest at the Egyptian authorities’ attack on Viva Palestina convoy activists.
The sources told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that five citizens, who were transferred to Abu Yousuf Al-Najjar hospital, are in very critical conditions.
Eyewitness said the protesters responded to the source of fire by throwing stones at the Egyptian side and shouted slogans hostile to Egypt before Gaza policemen showed up and dispersed the crowds.
About 55 multinational activists, participating in the third Lifeline convoy organized by Britain-based Viva Palestina organization, sustained different injuries during clashes with Egyptian security forces in Al-Arish area.
In the same context, the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza organized on Wednesday afternoon a massive sit-in near Salahuddin terminal in Rafah to denounce Egypt for preventing international activists and aid convoys from entering Gaza.
All factions strongly condemned the brutal attacks carried out by the Egyptian security forces against Viva Palestina activists who brought with them humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza people.
Hamas lawmaker Mushir Al-Masri stressed during the sit-in that the Gaza people would not care about all attempts to make them preoccupied with minor issues and divert their attention from the real threat to the Arab national security.
Masri also urged the Egyptian people to rise and force their government to stop the building of the steel wall and open the Rafah border crossing permanently.
For its part, the government committee to break the siege strongly denounced the Egyptian authorities for using excessive force against Viva Palestina activists.
In a statement, the committee said that the Egyptian security forces created a serious precedent in dealing with aid convoys sent to Gaza.
It added that dealing with activists, who traveled thousands of miles and were warmly welcomed by all countries they crossed, in such a savage way undermine Egypt’s stature in the Arab and Muslim worlds.
Hamas lawmaker Yahya Al-Abadsa also slammed in a press release the attack on the activists as a shameful act and a crime in every sense of the word against Palestine.
Abadsa underlined that such behavior made the Egyptian regime a servant of the American policy and a dirty hand used for repression.
In another press release, the Islamic Jihad Movement expressed its dismay and shock at the Egyptian authorities’ attitude towards the Viva Palestina aid convoy and its insistence on placing obstacles on its way and prevent it from helping the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza.
In a related development, deputy head of the international committee to end the siege Mohamed Sawalha told Wednesday Al-Quds satellite channel that a number of Turkish lawmakers are mediating between the organizers of Viva Palestina convoy and Egyptian officials.
Sawalha added that the mediation is aimed to overcome the problems raised by Egypt’s breach of a previous agreement it reached with Viva Palestina at the port of Aqaba in which it pledged to facilitate the entry of the convoy into Gaza through Al-Arish port. PIC