Presidential spokesperson, Yasser Ali confirmed that President Mohamed Morsy has ordered for aid to be sent to Gaza.
Ali told Daily News Egypt, “Egypt’s supportive role to Gaza is an Egyptian, Arab and Islamic duty and it is not possible for us to go back on our promise. Every aid possible has to be given to Gaza and will not be stopped.”
Dr Hani Al-Basoos, assistant professor of political sciences at Islamic University in Gaza has welcomed this decision. He said “This is a good start for Egyptian policies in the Gaza strip. There has been much contact between the Gaza government and the Egyptian government over the last few months and this is the outcome.”
This announcement comes a week after the Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani visited Gaza last week and announced a $254 million investment project to help rebuild the Gaza strip.
Al-Basoos commented “The aid from Egypt is a step towards lifting the siege that has lasted for six years. The process will be gradual, but this is definitely a good start.” He added, “Egypt will do its best to help but they cannot do it alone.”
Hamas, who are currently the ruling power in the Gaza strip, had appealed to Egypt for the establishment of a free trade zone around the border. The Egyptian side rejected this proposal despite Hamas believing the Egypt was ready to implement such a zone.
The Israeli siege of the Gaza strip began in 2007 which consisted of an air, land and sea blockade. The Israeli authorities restricted the goods that were allowed to enter Gaza. This led to an increase in smuggling between Egypt and Gaza. There have also been various unsuccessful attempts to break the blockade by sea, the most recent of which was the ship Estelle, which was boarded by the Israeli Defence Force.