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Israeli surprise at new transit levels at Rafah crossing

February 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Haaretz newspaper in Israel has expressed surprise at the new arrangements in place to facilitate international travel for Palestinians leaving Gaza through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. Reports suggest that the number of Palestinians passing through Rafah has doubled recently. This shows, claims Haaretz, that a distinct change has taken place in Egypt’s strategy for the crossing.

According to the information quoted by Haaretz, Egypt intends to grant travel permits to Palestinians who are travelling abroad through Cairo airport. Palestinians have been restricted in their travel for more than six years due to the Israeli-imposed siege of the Gaza Strip, which was assisted by the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak. Officials at Cairo Airport, however, denied that special arrangements for Palestinians are in place.

Nevertheless, Haaretz insists that new measures, which have surprised even Palestinian security officials in the occupied West Bank, must be in place due to the increase in numbers of Gazans leaving the besieged Strip.