Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire was barred on Wednesday from entering the Gaza Strip where she and other activists planned to demonstrate against the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.
The interesting part of the story is that Maguire was not denied entry by Israel, but rather by Egypt.
Maguire previously tried to enter Gaza aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara that was part of the failed 2010 “Gaza Freedom Flotilla.”
This time around, Maguire and those traveling with her presumably thought they’d have a much easier time of things by bypassing Israel altogether and entering Gaza via Egypt. They were wrong.
Maguire and much of her group were detained upon arrival in Cairo and told they would not be permitted to travel on to the Gaza Strip.
Speaking later to the AFP, Maguire called her treatment in Cairo “an example and confirmation of the Egyptian government’s compliance with the blockade of Gaza.”
The new Egyptian regime has made no secret of its disdain for Hamas and its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. On Tuesday, an Egyptian court outlawed all official Hamas activity in the country.
Hamas officials slammed what they called a “baseless” decision made in service to Israeli interests.