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Middle east

Egyptian authorities seek to halt march to Gaza

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-05-13

Egyptian authorities created a hurdle for organisers of a planned march from Cairo to Gaza by blocking access Thursday to the Sinai Penisula. Due to depart on Saturday, the march is in protest of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

AFP - Egyptian authorities on Friday blocked access to the Sinai peninsula, where it stepped up security, to prevent a march from Cairo to Gaza, an AFP correspondent 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.

The march is timed to coincide with the anniversary of the day Israel was established, often referred to in Arabic as the "Nakba," or "catastrophe."

Meanwhile, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Israeli embassy in central Cairo on Friday to demand the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador and the severance of ties with the Jewish state.

"Millions of martyrs to Jerusalem," the protesters chanted as army and police officers stepped up security around the building housing the embassy.

Date created : 2011-05-13

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