A common space for harmonic peacemakers
As hundreds of activists prepare to send a convoy to demonstrate at Egypt's border crossing with Gaza in Rafah, Egyptian authorities are on high alert.
According to AFP, Egyptian authorities on Friday blocked access to the Sinai peninsula, where it stepped up security to prevent the planned march from Cairo to Gaza.
The march is planned to leave from Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Saturday to reach Rafah on Sunday. It is calling for the right of all Palestinian refugees to return to their land and demanding that Egyptian authorities release all Palestinian prisoners in Egypt.
The march is planned to reach the Gaza borders on Nakba Day (15 May), the day in which Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their land and homes to establish the state of Israel.
AFP's correspondent reports that the “Peace Bridge”, one of the main access routes to Sinai from mainland Egypt, has been closed to all except residents of the peninsula. However, 15 Egyptian activists trying to reach Rafah from Cairo say they managed to cross the bridge but were stopped right after in Kherba, halfway between the “Peace Bridge” and Rafah. As of yet, they do not know if they will be allowed to pass.
The army has also stepped up security around the peninsula, a security official told AFP.
Demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine and in preparation to the Palestinian 15 May Nakba Day have been staged in several Egyptian cities including Cairo, Suez and Arish.
Thousands have joined early morning prayers in several mosques in Cairo carrying Palestinian flags from where they marched to Tahrir Square, the heart of Egypt’s revolution.
Al Nakba Palestinian Catastrophe 1948 كي لا ننسى
My heart and my eyes are always crying when I see the atrocities Human Beings can do.
Egyptian troops fired in the air Friday to disperse a protest outside the Israeli embassy demanding the expulsion of the ambassador and the severance of ties with the Jewish state, an AFP reporter said.
Police stand next to protesters during an anti-Israeli protest in front of the Egyptian Foreign
Ministry in Cairo
Protesters fled the scene on hearing the shots but quickly regrouped chanting "We are going in."
Minutes later, protesters began chanting "Silmiya, Silimya" (Peaceful, peaceful) as several of them sat down on a nearby bridge blocking traffic.
The protest -- which would have been banned under the regime of ousted president Hosni Mubarak -- was timed to coincide with establishment of Israel 63 years ago, commonly referred to in Arabic as the "Nakba" or "catastrophe."
The Israeli embassy, on the top floor of a residential building overlooking the Nile, was protected by army and police officers who barricaded the narrow street leading to the entrance.
But protesters had massed on surrounding streets and the nearby bridge.
Pointing to the flag raised above the embassy, they chanted "Bring it down, Burn it!".
At one point, army and police officers were showered with flyers thrown from the bridge which read: "Stemming from our belief in the Palestinian cause, and the desire to free the Palestinian people, a segment of Egyptian youth has decided to take responsibilty for reviving this cause."
The flyers said there would be awareness campaigns on the Palestinian cause, and aid would be organised for the Palestinian people.
Protesters also called for the end of gas deals with Israel, the release of all Palestinian detainees and an end to the Gaza blockade.
Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities had blocked access to the Sinai peninsula to prevent a march from Cairo to Gaza, an AFP correspondent in Sinai said.
The march was due to leave from Cairo's Tahrir Square on Saturday to protest the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and call for the right of return of Palestinian refugees and the release of all Palestinian prisoners.
"Peace Bridge", one of the main access routes to Sinai from mainland Egypt, has been closed to all but residents of the peninsula.
The army also stepped up security around the peninsula, a security official said.
I recognize the Egyptians's to demonstrate in solidarity with the Palestinians, just hope it will be a non-violence demonstration.
Any violence will be a good reason for the authorities to stop it on the spot.
A non-violence, on the other hand, could be a successful one.
Let's hope wisdom will act :)
Can justice ever walk this earth?
Can we right all the wrongs
or restore even one life?
or one house?
or cooking pot?
or the human dignity?
That has been taken away
when this act of gross cruelty
stalked our blessed lands and homes.