PALESTINIANS: THE REAL GAZA BLOCKADE

  • The Rafah border crossing is the Gaza Strip's single opening to Egypt and the rest of the Arab world. That border crossing is where the real suffering of the Palestinians has been taking place.

  • The Gaza Strip could be a livable environment if the Egyptians opened the Rafah terminal to allow the world to come and help the Palestinians living there.

  • As Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and other organizers of the campaign have clearly stated in recent weeks, the Palestinian protests are aimed at thwarting US President Donald Trump's yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East.

The weekly demonstrations along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which are scheduled to enter their sixth week this Friday, will undoubtedly continue to attract the attention of the international community and media.

Meanwhile, no one will pay attention to what is happening on the Gaza Strip's other border with Egypt, which has been closed for most of the past 10 years.

The demonstrations near the border with Israel are being organized by Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip as part of the "March of Return" -- a six-week campaign of protests that is expected to reach its peak on "Nakba Day" ("The Day of Catastrophe"), the term used by Palestinians to describe the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

The Arab countries at the time opposed the creation of a homeland for the Jewish people and sent their armies to attack Israel, but lost -- a result that should probably be taken into consideration before one attacks. Since then, the Palestinians and Arabs have been commemorating their loss by holding anti-Israel protests and voicing their refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist.

There are, of course, no demonstrations planned along Gaza's border with Egypt to protest the continued closure of Gaza's better-known border crossing, Rafah -- its crossing to Egypt.

The Palestinians do not feel comfortable talking about Egypt's blockade of the Gaza Strip. They prefer to turn a blind eye to the severe travel restrictions imposed by Egypt on the residents of Gaza and instead put all the blame on Israel. Currently, Hamas leaders cannot leave the Gaza Strip without Egypt's permission. They are afraid to embarrass the Egyptians lest they be banned from leaving the Gaza Strip completely.

The organizers of the "March of Return," including several Hamas leaders, have repeatedly made it clear in the past few weeks that the real goal of the campaign is to "achieve the right of return" for Palestinian refugees and their several generations of descendants to their former homes and villages inside Israel.

For the Palestinians, the "right of return" means that Israel should allow millions of Palestinians to move to Israel -- a demand no Israeli government could ever accept as it would means turning the Jews into a minority in their own state....

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