Egyptian MP: Security Services’ seizure of Freedom Convoy an act of piracy

Egyptian MP: Security Services’ seizure of Freedom Convoy an act of piracy

CAIRO, — Egyptian parliament member, Hazem Farouk, described Egyptian security service officers’ decision to prohibit the Freedom Convoy, which carried such aid materials as iron, cement, and brick, from passing through the Rafah crossing to deliver the goods to the Gaza Strip as an act of abduction and piracy against humanitarian aid needed by a people under siege.

Farouk, one of the nine parliament members of the Egyptian Freedom Convoy, said in a press statement, “The convoy, which was launched on Monday morning from Cairo towards Gaza, was forced by security forces in northern Sinai to head towards the North Sinai Governorate building, despite their repeated promises that they would accompany the convoy to ensure safety for officials and cargo trucks.”

The MP added that the government officials would strive to negotiate with security forces, stressing that they must deliver the message from the Egyptian people to their suffering neighbors in Gaza.

Farouk criticized attempts by security forces to hinder the convoy from entering at several checkpoints, saying, “Is there someone controlling Egypt besides the President of the Republic [of Egypt], who announced that the Rafah Crossing was open? And are there secret forces trying to prevent the convoy?”

Meanwhile, in Gaza, Youssef Rizqa, political advisor of Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haneyya, expressed his doubts about Egypt ever opening up the Rafah crossing.  He said in a statement, “There are serious doubts about Egypt opening up the Rafah crossing, especially since facts on the ground suggest that not every Palestinian citizen passes through this crossing, but only selected individuals after security forces screen them.”

The political advisor called on the Egyptian authorities to facilitate the Egyptian Freedom Convoy in entering Gaza, to respond to the Egyptian people’s will to show solidarity with the Gaza Strip, to follow Turkey’s example against the Israeli occupation, and to recognize Hamas as a freedom movement, and not as a terrorist movement.

The Borders and Crossings Authority announced later today that twelve Egyptian parliamentarians of various political backgrounds, along with members of the Muslim Brotherhood arrived in support of the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza Strip, but the convoy’s cargo of steel and cement contributed for reconstruction efforts in Gaza has still not entered.