Egypt Allows Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentarians Into Gaza


Reuters is reporting that Egypt has allowed Muslim Brotherhood MP’s into Gaza on Tuesday as part of an indefinite opening of the Rafah crossing. According to a Reuters report:

Egypt allowed lawmakers from the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups to enter the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday, but barred construction material contained in an accompanying aid convoy. Security sources said this week Egypt would keep its Rafah border open indefinitely, barring security threats, a move seen as an attempt to deflect criticism of its role in the blockade imposed by Israel in 2007. However, Cairo still limits the items that can cross into Gaza, mostly to medicine and food, and only permits people seeking study or medical treatment to enter Egypt. A global outcry erupted over Israel’s bloody raid of an aid ship bound for the coastal enclave last week, renewing international calls to lift the blockade that has eroded living conditions for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents. “Egyptian authorities allowed us to cross into Gaza in solidarity with Palestinians there, but they held back the aid intended to break the blockade and help rebuild the Strip,” Brotherhood parliamentarian Mohamed Beltagy said. The lawmakers, two of whom belonged to Egypt’s opposition Karama Party, were granted a 24-hour stay in Gaza. Cairo has opened its border with Gaza only sparingly since the Islamist group Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, seized the territory in 2007. Opposition groups have accused Egyptian authorities of complicity in the Israeli blockade and have demanded a full, unrestricted opening of the border, which Cairo fears would allow Israel to wash its hands of responsibility for Gaza.  

The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an Israeli TV station has reported that in 2008, Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. An earlier media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. Last June, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons.

Numerous previous posts have discussed the pivot role played by the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza flotilla incident.

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