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Rafah Crossing to Open for Gazans to Enter Egypt,

Release of 14 Palestinian Political Prisoners


Rafah crossing to open for Gazans to enter Egypt

Published today (updated) 20/02/2011 15:02 GAZA CITY (Ma'an) --

The Rafah crossing will be open for Gaza residents to enter Egypt starting on Tuesday, Palestinian crossings officials said.

Around 300 Palestinians will be allowed to cross to Egypt every day, officials in Gaza said Sunday.

Egypt reopened the Rafah crossing Friday evening for Palestinians stranded in Egypt to return to Gaza. The terminal had been closed for over three weeks during the uprising in Egypt which led to the toppling of former leader Hosni Mubarak.

Since Friday, around 850 Gaza residents have returned home, crossings staff said.

The Palestinian ambassador in Cairo Barakat Al-Farra said Egyptian officials had been very cooperative and made serious efforts to facilitate the smooth passage of travelers.

Egyptian authorities release 14 Palestinian detainees

[ 20/02/2011 - 10:34 AM ]


The Egyptian authorities released on Saturday evening 14 Palestinian detainees who were arrested on the Palestinian-Egyptian borders.

Emad Al-Sayyed, a spokesman for the relatives of Palestinian detainees in Egyptian jails, said in a statement to the PIC that four were released from Aqrab jail in Cairo while ten others were released from Burj Al-Arab jail in Alexandria.

He said that the detainees were released from captivity but till now their whereabouts are unknown, calling on the Palestinian government and factions in Gaza to make necessary contacts to ensure their return to the Strip.

Asked on the number of Palestinian detainees in Egyptian jails, he said that no official statistics indicated their number. He said, however, "We know of 39 detainees held in different prisons in Egypt".

"We also know of 19 detainees in Aqrab jail who went on hunger strike protesting their cruel incarceration conditions," he underlined.

Haniya invites Qardawi to visit Gaza

[ 19/02/2011 - 06:23 PM ]


Palestinian premier Ismail Haniya reached Dr. Yousef Al-Qaradawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Association, on the phone on Saturday and invited him to visit the Gaza Strip.

Haniya congratulated Qaradawi and the Egyptian people over the success of the Egyptian "revolution".

He expressed his personal and the Palestinian people's gratitude for the Sheikh’s stands on the issue of Palestine, Jerusalem and the holy Aqsa Mosque in addition to his call for lifting the siege on Gaza during his Friday sermon in front of the huge crowds at Tahrir square in Cairo.

The premier extended an official invitation to the Sheikh to visit the Strip and to lead the prayers in Gaza with the hope of doing so one day in the Aqsa Mosque.

Qaradawi, for his part, welcomed the invitation and hailed Gaza and the Palestinian people's steadfastness and wished them victory and liberation.

Zahhar: The US and Israel are the biggest losers in the Arab uprising

[ 20/02/2011 - 09:34 AM ]


Member of Hamas's political bureau Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar said that the US and Israel are both the biggest losers in the changes taking place in the Arab world as a result of the popular revolutions.

In a press statement to Safa news agency on Saturday, Dr. Zahhar ruled out that the Egyptian revolution could immediately impact the situation in the besieged Gaza Strip due to the ruling military council's preoccupation with its numerous and complex internal affairs. 

The Hamas official denied there was any kind of contact with the Egyptian military council, but he said his Movement was following up the political developments in Egypt.

He underscored that the future relationship between Gaza and Egypt is contingent on the coming elections in Egypt and who would be the next president.

The official also pointed out that the talk about Egypt's reconciliation paper should be delayed until the situation in Egypt gets stable.

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