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Egypt denies Malaysian delegation entry to Gaza

March 30, 2014 2:48 P.M. (Updated: April 1, 2014 10:51 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities on Sunday denied entry to a Malaysian delegation seeking to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, Gaza government officials said.

Palestinian officials said eight solidarity activists from Malaysia attempted to cross through to Gaza four times, and that on the fourth time they were deported.

The officials denounced the Egyptian actions, saying the Malaysian delegation was set to provide Gaza residents with humanitarian aid through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Gaza City.

Egypt opened the Rafah crossing to special cases for a three-day period starting Saturday.

The crossing is the principal connection between Gaza's 1.7 million residents and the outside world since Israel's imposition of an economic blockade in 2007.

There have been frequent closures of the Rafah terminal in recent months due to political unrest in Egypt and violence in the Sinai Peninsula, placing an added burden on Gaza Strip residents.

After the July ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's army has repeatedly closed the Rafah border crossing and destroyed hundreds of tunnels that Gazans used for years to import fuel, building materials and other goods.
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