Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Egypt opens Gaza border crossing for Palestinian pilgrims to perform Hajj


GAZA (Ma’an) -- Egyptian authorities temporarily opened the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday to allow a number of Palestinian worshipers through on their way to Saudi Arabia to perform the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj. Egypt decided to open the crossing for three days in order for some 2,008 Gazan pilgrims who were able to obtain visas to use the Cairo airport to travel to Mecca. However, procedures for Palestinians to return to Gaza following their pilgrimage were still undetermined on Tuesday. Egypt has upheld an Israeli military blockade on the Gaza Strip for the majority of the past three years, since the ouster of President Muhammad Morsi in 2013 and the rise to power of Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi in Egypt. While the Egyptian border has remained the main lifeline for Gazans to the outside world, Egyptian authorities have slowly sealed off movement through the border since Morsi was toppled by the Egyptian army. more

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