Egyptian authorities said on Sunday that 17 Palestinians have been arrested while trying to illegally enter the country in attempts to flee ongoing violence in the Gaza Strip, state-run news agency MENA reported.
The Palestinians were arrested after they illegally reached the North Sinai border town of Al-Arish via underground tunnels with Gaza. They were headed to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria from where they intended to illegally cross to Europe, MENA said.
The densely-populated Palestinian territory has been devastated by a more than month-long assault by Israeli forces that has killed almost 2,000 Palestinians.
The United Nations said 425,000 of the strip's 1.8 million people have been displaced by the war.
Approximately 5 million Palestinian refugees live in UN-run camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank after they or their families fled or were displaced during the 1948 war that saw Israel's founding.