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Some students still stranded in Gaza after crossing closed early last week

Sept. 27, 2008 12:58 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 27, 2008 12:58 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Despite the exit of hundreds of university aged Gazans into Egypt for study abroad, there are still a handful of students trapped in Gaza who now fear losing their places in higher educational institutions if they do not leave the area soon.

An open letter was sent to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Friday, appealing to the leader to once again open the Rafah crossing and allow Palestinians through.

The crossing was open on 20 and 21 September for patients, pilgrims and students, but was unexpectedly closed early on the Sunday. Eight busses of students, however, were allowed to pass through Sunday morning.

The letter to Mubarak was sent by the campaign called "let the Palestinians study in Britain," and asked that the crossing be opened until all students had travelled through the border.

The letter was signed by the students' representative Muhammad Halalu, and complained of the repeated attempts at crossing many students have had to endure. "Each time you order the Rafah crossing open to let stranded students, patients and others enter Egypt, new hopes arise that we can continue our university studies in either in Egyptian universities or abroad. But, the last time you decided to open the crossing last Sunday, you dedicated one day for students. However, we failed to cross for unknown reasons," read the letter.

The letter emphasized that many of the students have special scholarships, which they will lose if they do not start classes soon.

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