Egypt’s turmoil overshadows life in Gaza

    By IANS,

    Gaza : The people in Gaza are closely following what is happening in neighbouring Egypt, as the violence there has cast a shadow on life in the Hamas-controlled enclave.

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    Historically and geographically, the Gaza Strip has been directly linked to Egypt. Since Hamas’s takeover of Gaza in 2007 and the subsequent Israeli blockade, the Egyptian border town Rafah has been the main gate of the enclave to the outside world, Xinhua reported.

    Mohamed al-Bayook, a 39-year-old resident of the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, is following with deep concern the recent turmoil in Egypt.

    “May Allah (God) protect Egypt and its people,” al-Bayook said while watching TV news along with his neighbours.

    Ever since the violence broke out in Egypt, during which hundreds of people were killed and injured, the streets of Gaza have been almost empty and the commercial movement in main markets nearly stalled.

    “Israel is closing the Gaza Strip, Egypt destroys more than 80 percent of the border tunnels (under Gaza) and Hamas keeps its control on Gaza, therefore, I believe there is no hope that our suffering would end,” added al-Bayook.

    Over the last six years, Egypt has been sponsoring the Palestinian internal dialogue and negotiating ceasefire agreement between Hamas and Israel.

    “The recent unrest in Egypt not only affects life in the Gaza Strip, but also ends the national dialogue between Hamas and Fatah,” said Hani Habib, a Gaza-based political analyst.

    However, he said if the Egyptian army and the government succeed in restoring stability, “the situation in the Gaza Strip might get better”.