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Stranded Hamas members back to Gaza from Egypt
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18:58, September 30, 2007

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Around 100 Palestinians, most of them members of Hamas, passed through Rafah border crossing into the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, after being stranded for more than 100 days in Egypt, witnesses said.

They left Gaza before Hamas movement took control of the coastal enclave in mid June and since then have been stuck at the Egyptian side of Rafah crossing due to the closure of Rafah, the witnesses said.

However, thousands of Palestinians, who were stranded in Egypt, managed to go back to the Gaza Strip through Israel in August. The remaining 100 Palestinians, who are wanted by Israel, refused to go back to Gaza through Israel.

The ministry of information in the sacked Hamas unity government led by Salam Fayyad had said in a statement that most of the 100 stranded Palestinians were members of Hamas and have received training in Iran.

A Palestinian source close to the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that allowing the wanted stranded Palestinians to cross was upon an agreement with the Egyptian side.

The source said that two representatives of the PRC and Hamas movement's armed wing met on Saturday night at Rafah crossing with senior Egyptian security officials.

The meeting ended up with an agreement to let the stranded Palestinians, who gathered in the Sinai desert town of al-Ariesh and its airport, to cross through Rafah border crossing, according to the source.

Source: Xinhua



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