Egypt blocked actor - Hamas

2009-07-23 20:06

Cairo - The Palestinian movement Hamas said on Thursday that Egypt prevented Syrian actor Dureid Laham from crossing into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border.

"Egypt denied Dureid Laham's entrance into Gaza claiming that the crossing is closed right now," said Hamas' anti-blockade committee in a statement.

The statement said that "Egypt opens the crossing point for foreign delegations to cross from Egypt to Gaza, while the crossing is closed. Yet, it did not let Laham cross."

Laham was scheduled to arrive in Gaza on Thursday with the Egyptian actress Fardous Abdel-Hamid in a solidarity visit to the impoverished enclave that has been under Israeli blockade for more than two years.

Laham, who arrived in Cairo two days ago with his wife in order to cross into Gaza, was also scheduled to inaugurate a local Palestinian play called The women of Gaza and the patience of Jacob that talks about how people in Gaza are suffering due to the siege.

First time for play

It would have been the first time that a play was performed in the enclave since the end of the Israeli incursion into Gaza in January.

When Hamas took control of the enclave from President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, Egypt and Israel maintained the closure of their borders with the coastal enclave.

Under an agreement brokered by the US in 2005, the Rafah crossing cannot open without the presence of the Palestinian president's forces and European Union monitors.

Egypt sometimes opens the crossing for humanitarian cases and for students to pass to and from the Strip.