Sunday, February 10, 2008

9,000 Gazans still at large in Egyptian cities

Bethlehem - Ma'an - More than 9,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip,
including Hamas members, have disappeared into Egyptian cities, following
the toppling of the Egyptian border near Rafah crossing on January 23, Major
General Ahmed Abdel Hamid, Governor of North Sinai, revealed on Friday.

He said that the Egyptian security services are intensifying their efforts
to arrest the 9,000, who have melted away into Egyptian cities and villages,
before they carry out any 'criminal operations.'

Some Muslim Brotherhood leaders are involved in hiding some of the Hamas
members who got through the border, he added, confirming that some members
of the Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested in the Sinai.

He claimed members of the Muslim Brotherhood were involved in the demolition
of the Egypt-Gaza border fence, helping Hamas members to cross into Egypt.

Abdel Hamid said a campaign has been implemented to deport all Palestinian
infiltrators caught in Egyptian cities back to Gaza. 2,116 Palestinians have
been sent back since Thursday, he said.

He stressed that the situation on the Egyptian border was now under full

A German news agency quoted a security source in Rafah as saying that the
Egyptian authorities are still holding about 60 Palestinians inside an
abandoned building in the town of Rafah in Egypt, as well as 65 Egyptians,
including 50 women and children after they entered Egypt from Gaza.

They were detained on Wednesday following an incident when crowds threw
stones at Egyptian border guards, injuring 20 soldiers.


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