Nearly six thousand Hamas supporters demonstrated in northern and southern Gaza to protest the ongoing blockade by Israel, and call for Egypt to open its borders. (Report: N. Rushworth)
Thousands of Hamas supporters on Friday demonstrated in Gaza to demand that Israel lift its crippling blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory.
The protesters massed in the north and the south of the narrow strip of land near border crossings into Israel and Egypt.
In Jabaliya, in northern Gaza, some 5,000 people waved Hamas flags and brandished banners proclaiming "No to the siege!"
"Hamas is working in a positive manner to end the siege and achieve a truce," Hamas official Yussef al-Shrafi told the crowd.
In Rafah, about 1,000 people called for Egypt to open its border crossing, the only one that bypasses Israel.
"We do not represent a threat to Egypt's security but we ask our brothers to open Rafah and break the siege," said Abu al-Sibbah, a Hamas leader.
Israel imposed its blockade after Hamas seized power in the territory last June.
On Thursday, UN agencies suspended aid distribution to Gaza saying they had run out of fuel. A UN envoy urged Israel to allow fuel supplies in and called on Hamas not to prevent its distribution.
Date created : 2008-04-26