Gaza trade, labor unions protest closure of Rafah crossing

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The Palestine General Federation of Trade and Labor Unions protested at the Rafah crossing to demand its permanent reopening and an end to the Egyptian military restrictions along the border with Gaza.

Gazan workers who make up most of work force in coastal enclave have been hit with high unemployment following the Egyptian military crackdown on tunnels which are considered as Gaza’s lifeline amid the choking Israeli blockade. Now that most of tunnels are either destroyed or closed workers demand that Rafah be used also as a commercial crossing to allow badly needed goods into the besieged territory.The Egyptian military has maintained tight restrictions on nearly 1.8 million Gazans following the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi last July.

The continued Egyptian military’s restrictions at Rafah have only exacerbated the already tight and inhumane Israeli blockade in place since 2007. Gazans blame the international community and especially Arab countries’ silence for their suffering.Analysts say the Israeli apartheid regime and the Egyptian military seem to be working hand in hand in blockading the people of Gaza. The Egyptian military has kept the Rafah crossing closed most of the time since the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi last year. Many people here believe the Egyptian military is acting as Israel's proxy in maintaining the blockade.

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