Former US Sergeant: Major countries help Israel, Egypt in Gaza blockade

Former US Sergeant: Major countries help Israel, Egypt in Gaza blockade

CAIRO: An American peace activist and former U.S. Army Sergeant, said that Israel and Egypt have tightened the siege on the Gaza Strip largely with the assistance of the United States, the European Union and Canada. American activist Ann Wright said that after two weeks following the arrival of about two thousand international activists to Egypt in a convoy called Lifeline 3 in order to show support of the civil society to the people of Gaza, that Israel and Egypt “have tightened its pressure in order to extract the backbone of the life of the people of Gaza” as a she said.

The group of activists had hoped to enter Gaza in order to deliver aid to the impoverished 1.5 million Palestinians in the enclave, but Egyptian authorities banned the group from traveling to the border. This led to protest in Cairo.

Wright, a former sergeant with the Army, noted that the government of the United States “continues to assist Egypt in building a wall under the ground to close the tunnels under the Gaza border with Egypt.”

Wright criticized in an article published on the American Common Dreams news website last Sunday and highlighted by America in Arabic news agency, State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid, who last week said “What we would like to see is to see that Hamas has stopped the use of crossing borders as a means for the smuggling of weapons and let’s stop the smuggling of weapons.”

Wright explained that Duguid did not address the use of tunnels in order to obtain food and materials that keep the lives of the people of Gaza going, which is prohibited by Israel.

Wright pointed out in her article that digging tunnels and working in them “is the only available action for the young people of Gaza.”

She said that workers in the tunnels get, according to reports, about 25 dollars per day, “a huge sum compared to the situation of the current Palestinian economy.”

Wright said that, despite all these circumstances, “workers in these tunnels are subjected to daily bombing carried out by US-made jet fighters F-16 used by the Israeli Air Force, and collapsing tunnels and burn as a result of bombing.”

The American activist noted that according to a report of the Palestinian Human Rights Organization Mizan, “120 people died while working in the economy of the tunnels during the past three years.”

Wright pointed out that the U.S. military members of the American embassy in Cairo visited Rafah to supervise the construction work on the border with Gaza, which is described by Egypt as a “construction work.”

The activist quoted American security sources as saying that U.S. military officials continue to visit the Egyptian border with Gaza every month.

She did not explain the forms of assistance provided by the European Union and Canada to Egypt.