Egypt reportedly bars entry to Palestinians en route to Gaza

Nadeen Shaker , Monday 8 Jul 2013

With the Rafah border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip closed, Cairo International Airport authorities refuse to allow Palestinians to transit Egypt

Palestinians who fly into Cairo International Airport to return to the Gaza Strip via the Rafah land crossing are being sent back to the countries they flew into Egypt from without prior notification, the Palestinian website Electronic Intifada website has reported.

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip has been closed indefinitely since the removal of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's former president, on 3 July.

Holders of travel documents issued by the Palestinian Territory are being refused the right to transit Egypt, according to the International Airline Transport Association (IATA) website, noting that there is an exception for those whose visas were issued by Egypt.

A Palestinian, who spoke anonymously to Ahram Online for security concerns, was deported back to Malaysia at his own expense, despite holding a visa that allowed him to enter Egypt.

"It meant nothing. I was not allowed in. I had hoped that, in the worst scenario, I would be held at the airport, but [Egyptian] authorities refused to allow me to stay," he said.

At least ten Palestinians were deported back to Malaysia, five were sent back to Algeria, one to Jordan, one to UAE, and another to Tunisia, the Palestinian said.

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