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Palestinian pilgrim abducted in Egypt’s Rafah

August 28, 2017 at 11:28 pm

A bus enters the Rafah border to Egypt on 16 August 2017 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

A Palestinian family has informed the Egyptian authorities of the kidnapping of their son after he crossed the Rafah border crossing yesterday, Quds Press reported.

Abdel-Qader Qeshta, 41, was crossing the Egyptian border from the besieged Gaza Strip seeking to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.

Image of Abdel-Qader Qeshta, the 41-year-old Palestinian man who was abducted while crossing the Rafah border [Quds Network]

Qeshta’s brother, Khaled, told the agency that an Egyptian military force stopped the bus which his brother was aboard yesterday after it had left the Egyptian Rafah border and abducted his brother.

Khaled added, quoting other witnesses on the bus, that the Egyptian officers claimed that Qeshta had been held for a short interrogation and would be delivered to Cairo International Airport to join other pilgrims before leaving Egypt yesterday.

But the plane was reported to have arrived in Saudi’s Jeddah airport today without his kidnapped brother.

The brother demanded the Egyptian authorities to release Qeshta “as soon as possible,” calling on Saudi Arabia to intervene as the pilgrims whom were on the bus, were the families of the martyrs of Sinai Peninsula’s northern Bedouin town of Sheikh Zuweid.

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Two years ago, gunmen intercepted a passengers’ bus heading to the Egyptian capital of Cairo near the Rafah crossing and kidnapped four passengers.

Egypt opened the Rafah crossing yesterday for two days to allow pilgrims to travel to perform Hajj as well as the humanitarian cases that need medical treatments.