Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hamas summer campers demand Egypt release Palestinian

Published today (updated) 29/07/2009 15:18

Gaza – Ma’an – A Hamas-youth summer camp organized a demonstration at the Rafah crossing Tuesday, demanding the release of Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades activist Ayman Nofal from Egypt’s custody.

The summer camp unit, organized and funded by the Hamas party in Gaza, was named “Set Ayman Nofal Free.” The camp is one of dozens of summer programs organized by the political party, which rose to prominence in part because of the social services it provides to Palestinians.

Members of Nofal’s family partook in the demonstration, as well as almost a hundred local youth and campers.

Nofal was detained by Egyptian security when Palestinian fighters destroyed a portion of the border wall and thousands crossed to Egypt in January 2008. Egypt had refused to open the Rafah border crossing following the Hamas-takeover of the Strip, and the Israeli-imposed siege meant no goods were entering the area, home to 1.5 million people.

Explosives ripped a gaping hole in the Egyptian border wall, which was left open for a week, allowing Gazans to travel into Rafah for supplies including flour, cooking gas and cigarettes.