By Nour Abu Eisha
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Scores of Palestinian patients protested in the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip to express their need for a port to facilitate their travel abroad for medical treatment.
The protest took place in Gaza’s port on Wednesday and was organized by the Hamas-leaning National Movement Committee for Breaking the Siege and Reconstruction in Gaza, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.
Protesters held banners with slogans that demanded their right of travel and medical treatment.
“We assert today that the existence of a port to connect the Gaza Strip with the outer world has become an urgent necessity to enable the patients to travel abroad to continue their treatment,” Alaa al-Batta, the committee’s coordinator, said. “It is not acceptable on the national, humanitarian or moral levels anymore that the besiege imposed on the strip would constantly continue in its 10th year.”
Al-Batta also urged the UN and the International Committee for the Red Cross to assume their legal and humanitarian responsibilities toward the strip.
On Thursday, the Palestinian Crossings Authority urged Egypt to open the Rafah crossing on a permanent basis, noting that around 30,000 Gazans, including 4,000 medical patients, desperately needed to cross the border.
Since the ouster of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi in a 2013 military coup, Egypt has kept the border with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip tightly sealed for the most part.