Yemenis storm Egypt consulate over Gaza


Tens of thousands of protesters also filled a sports stadium in the north of the city and many more people thronged the surrounding area, an AFP correspondent said.

The protests came after about 384 Palestinians were killed and more than 1,400 were wounded in three days of Israeli air strikes on the enclave, of which Egypt is the only other neighbor.

One witness said the protesters hoisted a Palestinian banner on top of building. “Some of the protesters were able to enter the consulate and destroyed some property and papers,” another witness said, adding that some of the protesters were Egyptian.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki said the consulate incident lasted 15 minutes.
The Yemeni news agency said 20 Arabs, including some Sudanese, Iraqis and Palestinians, were arrested “for attempting to enter the consulate.”
Egypt has come under heavy criticism in the Arab world for the past three days for imposing the blockade on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for the past six months.

“We will not deepen the division and that breach (among the Palestinians) by opening Rafah border crossing in the absence of the Palestinian authority and the European Union monitors,” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said, referring to the 2005 agreement over the border. Egypt resists dealing with the militant Hamas because it opposes the group’s 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip and fears a spillover across the border of its militant influence.
Egypt insists Abbas is the legitimate Palestinian leader and opening the border would only increase the separation between the two halves of the Palestinian territory.

Protests in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon have targeted Egypt and on Sunday Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the Egyptian government was “taking part in the crime” against Palestinians and called on Egyptians to rise up and force open the crossing.

Nasrallah’s comments have been strongly condemned by Egypt’s state-owned press and Mubarak described them as political posturing at the expense of the Palestinian people.

“We tell anybody who seeks political profits on the account of the Palestinian people: the Palestinian blood is not cheap,” he said, describing such comments as “exploiting the blood of the Palestinians.” Mubarak added that he had demanded Israel “stop the aggression” against the Palestinians, and that he had opened the crossing to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and Palestinian wounded into Egypt.

In the past two days several truckloads of medical supplies have entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt and 36 Palestinians have been admitted to Egyptian hospitals.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in an interview with Egyptian television broadcast on Monday night, mocked the military records of Hezbollah and Iran which backs the militant group.
He said Hezbollah destroyed Lebanon in 2006 and that its Katyusha rockets and rocket-propelled grenades were nothing compared to the Egyptian army.

Addressing Nasrallah, he said: “You are a man who used to enjoy respect, but you have insulted the Egyptian people.” The Egyptian minister also attacked Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who criticized Arab governments on Monday for their perceived lack of response to the ongoing Israeli raids in Gaza.

“It’s as if hundreds of thousands of Iranians shed their blood over the last 30 years,” he said, referring to the Egyptian view that its army bore the brunt of the suffering in wars with Israel for the sake of the Palestinians.
“There are Iranian motives driving Arab parties to play in the interests of Iran,” the minister added.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *