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Stranded Gaza pilgrims to arrive home Tuesday

July 15, 2013 1:55 P.M. (Updated: July 16, 2013 9:09 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of Gaza pilgrims who have been stranded in Saudi Arabia for weeks due to unrest in Egypt will arrive home on Tuesday, a Gaza official said.

Adel Swalha, director of the ministry of endowment in the Hamas-run Gaza government, told Ma'an that the pilgrims will arrive in three groups, one of which will leave late Monday, carrying around 590 people, and the second on Tuesday.

The third group of around 570 pilgrims will fly back to Cairo airport later on Tuesday.

Unrest in Egypt has seen some 1,600 Palestinian pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia while performing the Umrah pilgrimage, as Egyptian authorities closed the Rafah crossing and El-Arish airport.

The closure of the Rafah crossing from July 5-10 disrupted travel plans for some 10,000 people in Gaza, Israeli rights group Gisha said.
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