Mubarak’s Ouster Sparks Celebration in Gaza

Hamas Calls on New Egypt Rulers to Open Border

Though the public celebrations in Egypt for today’s ouster of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak were surely the biggest, but similar jubilation broke out in the Gaza Strip, where locals hope the end of the Mubarak regime means an end to their isolation from the rest of the world.

Fireworks were reported as celebrants took to the streets of Gaza, and Hamas security forces fired celebratory bursts of gunfire in the air as officials cheered “the great Egyptian people and their revolution.”

The hopes were clear, and Hamas officials publicly called on Egypt’s new leadership, which for now is the military, to permanent open its border with the tiny enclave and allow free movement and transport of goods with the neighboring Sinai Peninsula.

Mubarak’s government had eagerly supported Israel’s full scale blockade of the strip, complying with demands to keep all but the bare minimum of humanitarian goods away from the strip’s 1+ million residents.

It is unclear what the military will do, but there seems to be considerable support amongst Egyptians for lifting the blockade, as well as ending a number of the travel restrictions in the Sinai Peninsula which are products of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Though it is unlikely to end in a war between Egypt and Israel, it seems the treaty will be under increasing pressure for revisions in days to come.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.