Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Egypt should be held to account for clashes

Western activists trying to bring humanitarian aid into Gaza via Egypt this week are finding out that after dozens of members of their 'Viva Palestina' convoy ended up getting injured in clashes with Egyptian police, that Cairo, too, keeps a tight blockade on the border of Gaza.

I haven't yet heard of the Israelis being as heavy-handed as this in their handling of activists who act against official advice.

The biggest difference I can see, apart from the numbers that were attacked or ended up in hospital, is how little headline space the clashes with the Egyptians got in the newspapers.

Now if if Israel had have carried out the same (or even less) treatment of these foreign activists, it would have been front page news. So much for balanced journalism.

If the international community wants to lambast Israel for a so-called 'blockade' of Gaza, even though hundreds of trucks of commodities do get in via Israel largely unreported, then Egypt should equally be held to account for its role in keeping its Gaza border tightly closed.

It seems our do-good activists now have discovered this for themselves.

Both Israel and Egypt control the borders of Gaza. If one judged according to media reports, one would think Gaza has only one border, namely with Israel.

Furthermore, Egypt should have no political reasons for keeping their borders closed. Israel has.

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor

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