An Egyptian soldier keeps guard on the border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Jordanian parliament members who were planning to travel to the Gaza Strip have been forced to call off their visit for “security reasons.”
The 12 parliamentarians arrived in Cairo last week to seek permission from the Egyptian authorities to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing.
On Saturday, however, they announced that they would head back to Jordan after being notified by the Egyptian authorities that the security situation in Sinai is “very dangerous.”
The delegation was planning to hold a “solidarity” visit to the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge. The parliament members were also planning to hold meetings with leaders of Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.
“The Egyptian authorities have informed us that the security situation in Sinai is very dangerous, especially the area between Rafah and Al-Arish, which makes it difficult for us to reach the border with the Gaza Strip,” said Yehya Al-Saud, head of the Jordanian delegation.
He said that the Egyptians asked the delegation to postpone their planned visit to the Gaza Strip “out of concern for the safety of its members. They said they wouldn’t be able to guarantee our safety.”
Another delegation member, Khamis Attiyeh, expressed regret over the decision to cancel the visit. “We are all very sad because of the cancellation of our visit due to the situation,” he said. “Of course we are sad because we weren’t able to enter the Gaza Strip to voice solidarity with the people there.”