Egypt has long been the broker between Israel and the terror group that runs Gaza. In November it brokered a fragile truce agreement whereby Israel eased its blockade of the Gaza Strip in exchange for calm. That agreement has appeared to be under stress in recent days, with Palestinians launching arson balloons and rockets into Israel and Israeli warplanes striking Hamas targets. Hamas has said the incendiary balloons were a message to Israel not to hold up the transfer of millions of dollars in Qatari aid funds to the cash-strapped Hamas government in Gaza. It said they were in response to the launching of incendiary and explosive balloons from Gaza into Israel.
The blockade of the Gaza Strip is the ongoing land, air, and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip imposed by Israel and Egypt in , after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip during the Battle of Gaza ,  seizing government institutions and replacing Fatah and other Palestinian Authority PA officials with Hamas members. Following the Hamas takeover, Egypt and Israel largely closed their border crossings with Gaza, on the grounds that Fatah had fled the Strip and was no longer able to provide security on the Palestinian side. Aboul Gheit explained that opening the Rafah border crossing would undermine the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority. Imports declined, exports were blocked, and fewer Gazans were given exit permits to Israel and the West Bank. In and subsequent years, Abbas supported Egypt's crackdown on smuggling tunnels , which were Gaza's last lifeline to the outer world, and welcomed the flooding of the tunnels by Egypt in coordination with the PA. Gaza's manufacturing sector, once significant, shrunk by as much as 60 percent in real terms, due to the wars in the past 20 years and the blockade.
Gaza and the West Bank are claimed by the State of Palestine. The territories of Gaza and the West Bank are separated from each other by Israeli territory. Both fell under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority ,  but Gaza has since June been governed by Hamas , a Palestinian Islamic organization  which came to power in free elections in It has been placed under an Israeli and U. By that time, Gaza may be rendered unliveable, if present trends continue.
CAIRO, Egypt — Egyptian authorities have opened an investigation into a video clip uncovered by an anti-torture activist that allegedly shows a police officer slapping a woman and forcing her to strip, a security official said Saturday. Egypt, where human rights groups say police abuse is pervasive, has seen a series of investigations of police prompted by cell-phone videos showing torture and abuse of suspects. The circumstances of the latest clip are unknown. It shows a woman in blue jeans and a shirt in what appears to be a bedroom, while a man with a gun tucked in his belt — purported to be a police officer — slaps her repeatedly across the face and orders her to take off her clothes. The sobbing woman takes off her top and brassiere, begging the man not to force her to walk outside.