'Mother from Hell is dying and the Arab World seems not to care'
As she lay in the intensive care unit at Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, Hamas leaders appealed to Egypt to reopen the Rafah border crossing immediately to enable Farhat to receive medical treatment in Cairo.Heh. I hope she dies a slow and painful death.
Relations between Hamas and Egypt have been strained lately after Hamas officials accused Cairo of failing to fulfill a promise to reopen the Rafah crossing in the aftermath of the cease-fire agreement that was reached with Israel last month.
Tensions between the two parties escalated last week when some Hamas officials said that Egypt was not an "honest broker" in the talks over the release of kidnapped St.-Sgt Gilad Schalit. The officials said that Hamas would not resume talks over the release of Schalit until the Egyptians agreed to reopen the border crossing.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was among the first to visit Farhat in hospital. Emerging from the intensive care unit, Haniyeh urged the Egyptians to reopen the crossing to "save her life." He said that the time has come to reopen Rafah permanently.
"More than 1.5 million Palestinians have been living in a big prison [in the Gaza Strip] for the past 14 months," he said.
"The siege has resulted in the death of more than 215 Palestinians who were unable to receive medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip." [Hey Ismail - with all the international aid you've been given, why isn't there a decent hospital in the Gaza Strip? CiJ]
Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim also made an urgent appeal to his Egyptian counterpart to allow Farhat to be moved to a hospital in Cairo.
Earlier, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak of "participating in the siege on the Gaza Strip." He said the continued blockade was aimed at "blackmailing" Hamas.
"Mubarak and Abbas bear the responsibility for the ongoing catastrophe in the Gaza Strip," he added, warning that Farhat, who is popularly known as Umm Nidal, was in urgent need of advanced medical treatment. [Can I quote him on that? He actually left Israel out! CiJ]
"The Mother of Martyrs is dying and the Arab world does not seem to care," a Hamas representative told The Jerusalem Post. "It's a disgrace that a Palestinian woman who sacrificed three of her sons for the cause is being barred from receiving proper medical treatment in an Arab country."
Another Hamas official warned that Farhat's death could trigger a wave of anti-Egyptian protests throughout the Gaza Strip. "If the woman dies because she is denied medical treatment in Egypt, the entire Gaza Strip will explode," he said.
"I don't rule out the possibility that much of the anger would be directed toward Egypt and that people would try to storm the Rafah border crossing."
Cross-posted to Israel Matzav.