The distressing situation of Palestinians stuck on both sides of the Rafah border crossing and inside Cairo airport following the Egyptian authorities’ decision to close the crossing for passengers traveling in and out of Gaza, constitutes a tragedy to many of stranded patients and students, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor warned.
The Egyptian authorities have allowed the opening of the Rafah border crossing to secure the travel and return of Palestinian citizens out and to the Gaza Strip after a complete closure that lasted about 50 days. Palestinians were surprised by the Egyptian authorities’ sudden decision to shut it down, only two days after it was opened.
Photos from Rafah crossing, showing the suffering of Palestinian travelers from Gaza.
The Egyptian authorities reopened the crossing today for only three days, which made hundreds of stranded travelers wait in the crossing from the early morning. pic.twitter.com/PFrJjckyuW
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) February 7, 2018
This decision coincided with Egypt’s launch of a military campaign in the Sinai Desert, which led to holding hundreds of passengers returning to the Gaza Strip at Cairo airport, as well as on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.
The Egyptian authorities allowed only 650 stranded passengers to head to the Gaza Strip to cross during the opening of the border crossing. Hundreds of other Palestinian citizens are still stranded and held on the Egyptian side of the crossing.
Rafah border crossing a never ending disaster. Photo showing Palestinians trying to travel thru the border crossing with Egypt. Egyptian authorities allow few hundreds out of over 20,000 who registered to pass through the crossing that reopens three days every two or three months pic.twitter.com/ZHTKpwo0WF
— Dr. Mosheer Amer (@MosheerAmer) February 9, 2018
The Egyptian authorities have ordered the return of more than 44 vehicles loaded with Palestinians to Cairo Airport again, and refused to let them in.
— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) February 12, 2018
The number stranded Palestinians at the Egyptian side of crossing, who were wishing to return to the Gaza Strip before the Egyptian army issued a decision to deport them back to Cairo airport, exceeded 400 passengers. They are currently being held in closed halls at the airport, and the airport security informed them to return to the countries they flew in Cairo from.
Hundreds of passengers stuck at Cairo airport have appealed to the Egyptian authorities and the Palestinian embassy in Cairo to hasten their return back to the Gaza Strip or find a solution to end their suffering at the unbearable cells and rooms at Cairo airport.
Thousands of #Palestinian travelers gathered at #Gaza’s border crossing with #Egypt on Thursday hoping for a brief chance to leave after #Cairo temporarily opened a frontier it largely keeps closed as it battles an #Islamist insurgency on the other side. https://t.co/D7iCybEKWe
— adel abdellatif (@abdellatif_adel) February 8, 2018
Euro-Med received several statements from a number of stranded Palestinians at Cairo airport, saying that security personnel at the airport were holding about 100 people, mostly patients, students and children, in one room, without providing them with food, drink or sleeping blankets. Most of them now cannot afford to buy food.
Another 200 people are trapped only a kilometer away from the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. Mostly, they are patients, children and elderly, while military confrontation with militants and ambushes are only a few kilometers away from them.
— Dr. Basem Naim (@basemn63) February 9, 2018
(Euro-Med, PC, Social Media)