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Egypt allows more Palestinians to leave Gaza

June 2, 2013 2:13 P.M. (Updated: June 3, 2013 4:32 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities announced Saturday it would be increasing the number of Palestinians allowed to travel to Egypt via the Rafah crossing from 800 to 1,100 travelers a day, a Hamas government official said.

Mahir Abu Sabha, the general manager of crossings for the Gaza Interior Ministry, said the number of registered passengers allowed to travel through the crossing had doubled over the summer.

The official added that Muslim pilgrims traveling to Mecca, Saudi Arabia for the year-round Umrah pilgrimage would be allowed to cross on Wednesdays.

Thanking Egyptian authorities, Abu Sabha said he hoped they would increase the number of passengers to 1,500.

Procedures at the Rafah crossing run smoothly "thanks to wise management," Abu Sabha added.

The Rafah crossing is one of two pedestrian crossings that Palestinians may use to leave the Gaza Strip. The pedestrian crossing with Israel is subject to extreme limitations on those allowed to cross.

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