For 2nd day, Egypt allows Gaza pilgrims to cross border

Since 2013 ouster of country’s first freely-elected president, Egypt has kept Gaza border tightly sealed for most part

For 2nd day, Egypt allows Gaza pilgrims to cross border

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Egyptian authorities continued Wednesday to allow Hajj pilgrims from the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip to cross the Rafah border crossing for the second day in a row, according to Gazan border officials.

In a statement, Gaza’s border authority said 775 pilgrims had departed the strip on Tuesday, 14 of whom were turned back by the Egyptian authorities for unspecified reasons.

Last week, Egypt announced that the crossing would be temporarily opened to pilgrims intending to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

More than 2,000 Palestinians from Gaza are expected to make the pilgrimage this year, according to Gaza’s Ministry of Religious Endowments.

Fully blockaded by Israel since 2007, when Palestinian resistance movement Hamas wrested control of the small coastal enclave, the Gaza Strip has seven border crossings linking it to the outside world.

Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh -- the Rafah crossing -- is controlled by Egypt.

Since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi -- Egypt’s first freely-elected president -- in a 2013 military coup, the Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing tightly sealed for the most part.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Eylül 2016, 00:02