|The Egyptian Gazette Online
Thursday, May 12, 2011 04:11:52 PM
Apprehensive that Egyptian authorities will block roads to Sinai hundreds of Egyptian youth arrived in the peninsula on Thursday to take part in a rally marking the Nakba Day, an annual commemoration of the creation of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians on May 15.
“Hundreds of youth arrived in Sinai by road three days before the Nakba Day, on which they are scheduled to march to the Palestinian territories,” said a security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
He added that most of the youth headed to el-Arish, where they stayed in hotels, resorts and youth compounds.
The move came after reports were leaked that the authorities in Sinai would block all entries to the peninsula, nighbouring Israel and the Gaza Strip.
“All we do are security measures not to let large numbers of youth cross to Sinai then to the Palestinian territory,” the security official was quoted by as saying.
He added that there would be security check points near Al-Salam Bridge on the Suez Canal, Ahmed Hamdi Tunnel as well as tightened security measures on the Rafah border crossing to Gaza.
Ahmed Duma, a member of the Justice and Freedom Youth Movement, said: “We are organising this event as part of an Arab Internet call for a third Palestinian Intifada and as part of what has now been termed the Arab One-million march.”
The call was floated on the social networking website Facebook for all Arabs to march en masse towards the borders to besiege Israel from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and demand the right of all Palestinian refugees to return.
The rally was scheduled to start in Cairo’s Al Tahrir Square on Saturday at 12:00pm and was expected to reach Gaza in the evening and to join the Nakba rallies. “However, some youth preferred to travel directly due to expected security measures,” Duma said.