About 6,000 Palestinians were stranded in dusty Egyptian towns not able to return to Gaza after the main border crossings were shut down. Defend International called on the concerned parties to agree on how to allow the civilians return back to their homes. DI is glad to hear that an agreement has been reached and it commends its members tireless work for and dedication to justice and peace.
Stranded Palestinians to Return to Gaza
Palestinian officials stated that the crisis of thousands of Palestinians stranded in Egypt for weeks is due to end next week as they will be allowed back into the Hamas-held Gaza Strip under a deal between Israel and Egypt.
An agreement had been reached with the Israelis to let some 6,000 Palestinians stranded in dusty Egyptian towns cross into Gaza through other terminals along the Egyptian-Israeli border.
Thousands of Palestinians, who left the Gaza Strip to other countries via the Egypt-Gaza border crossing before the Hamas movement seized control of the Gaza Strip on June 14, were not able to return after the main border crossings were shut down.
The Palestinian authorities said that Egyptian buses would carry the stranded Palestinians from Sinai desert to another Israeli border crossing between Israel and Egypt, from where they would be brought back to the Gaza Strip. The first convoy was escorted through Israel to the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Dozens of Palestinians returned to Gaza and more than 500 are expected to return on Monday. Israel approved the names of all those allowed to re-enter Gaza.
Thousands of Palestinians are still in Egypt, having traveled there via the Rafah crossing to seek medical treatment or work. Many had only planned to be away from home for a matter of days but their plans were changed as the political situation changed and suddenly there was no way back.
Defend International Campaign
It is noteworthy that Defend International had raised its concern about thousands of civilians unable to return to their homes in Gaza strip. DI urged the Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian authorities, as well as Hamas leadership in Gaza to do whatever it takes to spare civilian lives and also called for the civilians to be granted access to any medical treatment they may require. Defend International launched a campaign calling on the authorities to spare no effort to facilitate for the passage of persons and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip, prioritizing the human rights of civilians residents over political advantages and gains.
Defend International’s members and supporters sent many appeals to the concerned parties; they also encouraged others to do the same. Defend International do appreciate their efforts and commends their tireless work for and dedication to justice and peace.