Egypt denies border passage to 1000s of Gaza patients

Egypt denies border passage to 1000s of Gaza patients
Sun Jun 29, 2014 19:59:58

Egyptian authorities have refused thousands of Palestinian patients to cross the Rafah border from the Israeli-besieged Gaza Strip, instead allowing only 800 “Palestinian pilgrims” passage to travel to Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian border officials “exceptionally reopened” the Rafah crossing with Gaza on Sunday to allow Palestinian pilgrims to cross, Lebanese-based Daily Star reports citing Palestinian authorities.

According to the report, Maher Abu Sabha, the head of Gaza's crossing and border authority, said the terminal would be open only to allow 800 Palestinian pilgrims en route to the holy sites in Saudi Arabia and also allow 800 returning pilgrims into Gaza.

The report further cites Abu Sabha as saying that Egyptian authorities will not allow patients or humanitarian cases to cross the vital terminal for the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave.

Nearly15,000 Palestinians, including 4,000 patients, are awaiting permission to leave Gaza through the border crossing with Egypt, Abu Sabha said.

Egypt has tightened its grip on the border with Gaza since last year's military-led coup against the nation’s first freely elected president Mohammad Morsi.

Egyptian military-installed authorities have accused the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out attacks inside the country. Hamas has vehemently denied such claims.

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