Egypt arrests 17 Palestinians fleeing Gaza war

Ahram Online , Sunday 17 Aug 2014

Palestinians reportedly entered North Sinai through cross-border tunnels with plans to travel to Alexandria and then Europe

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.

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