Hundreds of people including foreign activists protested on both sides of a Gaza Strip border crossing on Thursday against the Israeli blockade imposed on the coastal territory. Just 86 international activists were allowed to enter the Strip on Wednesday from Egypt via the Rafah crossing.
Another 1,200 activists from about 40 states remained in Cairo after Egypt refused entry for the group because of what they called the "sensitive situation" in the Palestinian territory. The activists were hoping to march into Gaza on the anniversary of Israel's 22-day offensive on the territory as a sign of solidarity with its people, carrying with them aid and supplies.
The international activists were joined by a few hundred Palestinians as they marched from northern Gaza Strip to the Erez crossing with Israel. On the Israeli side, a group of dozens of foreign, Israeli and Arab activists waved Palestinian flags outside the entry to the terminal, holding signs reading "Stop the siege now" and "Freedom for Gaza," AFP reported.
Meanwhile, the protesters said Egyptian police kicked the international activists during scuffles in the Egyptian capital. One activist was left with broken ribs. "Members of the Gaza Freedom March are being forcibly detained in hotels around (Cairo) as well as violently forced into pens in Tahrir Square by Egyptian police and additional security forces," AFP cited a statement issued by the organisers.