Egypt is allowed to strangle the entire Gaza Strip and deny its people food and fuel, especially on the eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, but one hardly hears about these anti-Palestinian measures: they are being carried out by an Arab country, not by Israel.
The Palestinians often complain that Israel, the US and other countries keep intervening in their internal affairs. These complaints often draw much attention from the Western media and many in the international community.
But when the Palestinians meddle in the internal affairs of Arab countries, sometimes triggering acts of violence and instability, the international media and public opinion tend to look the other way.
And when the Arab countries retaliate by punishing the Palestinians, as is happening these days between the Palestinians and Egypt, the international community and human rights organizations rush to bury their heads in the sand.
Egypt is allowed to strangle the entire Gaza Strip and deny its people food and fuel, especially on the eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, but the media and human rights groups are missing in action. This, by the way, is happening at a time when Israel has announced a series of gestures toward the Palestinians on the occasion of Ramadan.
Each time they are punished for poking their nose into other people’s business, the Palestinians start whining and crying, accusing the Arab countries of turning against them.
Today, it is Egypt’s turn to punish the Palestinians for meddling in that country’s internal affairs.
Following the military coup that ended President Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood regime, the first decision the new rulers of Egypt took was to ban Palestinians from entering their country without prior permission from Egypt’s security authorities.
As these security forces rarely issue permits to Palestinians to enter Egypt, this decision means that thousands of Palestinians will not be able to continue their studies, receive medical treatment or visit relatives there.
The Palestinians have a long history of meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries, even if that always proves to be counterproductive and harmful to Palestinian interests. Now, the new rulers of Egypt are extremely angry with the Palestinians, especially Hamas, for supporting Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
But instead of punishing Hamas and its leaders, the Egyptian authorities have resorted to collective punishment against the Palestinians, particularly those living in the Gaza Strip.
One hardly hears and reads about these anti-Palestinian measures: they are being carried out by an Arab country, not by Israel.
Since the ouster of Morsi, the Egyptians have closed down the Rafah border crossing along their shared border with the Gaza Strip, leaving thousands of passengers stranded on both sides of the border.
About 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims who were in Mecca have not been able to return home because of the closure of the Rafah terminal.
In addition, hundreds of Palestinian university students and patients have not been permitted to leave the Gaza Strip.