The European Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza is preparing to send a massive international parliamentarian delegation to Gaza by sea. The delegation had arranged a solidarity visit to Gaza, but was denied entry to the area by Egypt via the Rafah crossing in mid October. Lord Nadthir Ahmad, head of the planned delegation said the group “feels it is their moral duty to break the siege that is imposed over the past three years.” (Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 31)
Meanwhile, there are signs of violent polarization in beseiged Gaza. A Hamas police officer was killed and three others wounded when an explosive device that police were attempting to deactivate exploded in a station in the Gaza Strip Oct. 30. It is unclear where the device was found.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers has been in place since June, but internal tensions between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah remain high. Earlier on Oct. 30, Hamas released 17 jailed Fatah members, calling it a goodwill gesture before reconciliation talks between the rivals in Cairo on Nov. 9. (Reuters, Oct. 30)