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Ambassador: Regulations for Palestinians' entry to Egypt not changed

July 24, 2012 9:32 A.M. (Updated: July 26, 2012 1:24 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Procedures for Palestinians entering Egypt have not changed, despite earlier reports that restrictions had been eased, Cairo's ambassador to the Palestinian Authority said Monday.

Yasser Othman told Ma'an that regulations for Palestinians' entry to Egypt were still applicable, although Palestinians arriving in Egypt would be granted a 48 -72 hour visa to transit the country in limited cases.

"All the news circulated in the media about Palestinians' entry to Egypt are false, however human considerations will be taken into account regarding the deportation of Palestinians from the Egyptian airport to the Gaza Strip," Othman said.

Previously, Egyptian security officers escorted Palestinians to and from the Gaza border, often detaining them at the border or the airport for several days while they waited for an escort. As there is no airport in Gaza and Israel does not allow residents to use its airport, Palestinians must travel via Cairo.

The Associated Press reported Monday that changes to the regulations to Palestinians' travel in Egypt had not been formally announced, and were met with resistance from Egyptian security agencies.

It said the changes were a gesture from Egypt's President Mohammad Mursi to Palestinian leaders following his meetings with President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal last week.
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