This article and video was originally published on the Press TV website and features Brendan Hunt in the video.
by CALEB MAUPIN
A large number of peace activists gathered outside the Egyptian consulate in New York on Thursday over Cairo’s handling of the crisis in Gaza following Israel’s military assault on the besieged strip that killed nearly two thousand Palestinians, Press TV reports.
The activists, many of whom participated in the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, say that they are not leaving the place until Egypt’s current rulers open the Rafah border crossing – Gaza's only exit route not controlled by Israel, Press TV’s correspondent Caleb Maupin reports from New York.
Moreover, Israeli warplanes have been carrying out airstrikes in Gaza since July 8, demolishing houses and burying families under the rubble. On July 17, thousands of Israeli soldiers launched a ground incursion into the densely-populated Palestinian territory.
Some 1,900 Palestinians, including more than 400 children, have been killed and over 9,500 others wounded. The United Nations says over 80 percent of the fatalities in Gaza have been civilians.
The protesters in New York accused the Egyptian government, as well as the United States, of complicity in Israel's crimes against Palestinians.
Barbara Walker, who is a peace activist, says she visited Gaza and saw the horrific conditions Israel has forced Palestinians to endure.
“There are people who are sick, who need food, who need water, who need to able to go out to get because we know that within Gaza it’s a ruin, it’s a disaster,” she told Press TV.
The protesters have set up an encampment, and say they will stay in front of the Egyptian mission 24 hours a day. They say they are inspired by the recent wave of anti-Israel protests around the world.
The protesters say they are willing to be arrested if the police attempt to force them out.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month described Egypt’s president, former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as an “illegitimate tyrant”, saying he is blocking humanitarian aid channels into Gaza.
In August last year, Erdogan said Israel was behind the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, whose administration took a number of measures against the Tel Aviv regime.
And newly revealed documents show anti-Morsi politicians in Egypt had the financial backing of the United States.
According to Aljazeera TV channel, a review of dozens of US federal government documents obtained by the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley shows that Washington quietly funded opposition groups in Egypt that worked against the Morsi government.
Last year, the Egyptian army, led by Sisi, toppled Morsi, a former leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The army also put Morsi behind bars.
Since then, the Egyptian army has destroyed hundreds of tunnels, which are the only lifeline for Gazans living under the Israeli siege. Palestinians use the tunnels to bring essential supplies, such as foodstuff, cooking gas, medicines, petrol, and livestock, into the besieged Gaza Strip.