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100 Palestinians held at Cairo airport for last 3 weeks

Aug. 28, 2014 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 29, 2014 12:44 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- More than 100 Palestinians from Gaza have been stuck at Cairo International Airport for more than three weeks after being prevented by Egyptian authorities from traveling to their final destinations.

The stranded passengers told Ma'an that most of the group had escaped from Gaza during a five-day ceasefire in mid-August in order to fly back to their places of residence in Saudi Arabia.

Egyptian authorities prevented them from flying, however, because their visas had expired.

Abu Ahmad, 54, told Ma'an that the families' visas had expired because they were unable to leave Gaza during the Israeli offensive, which lasted more than seven weeks and left more than 2,000 dead.

Abu Ahmad said that the families had taken the first opportunity to leave and return to their homes in Saudi Arabia, but were now being forcibly kept at the airport by Egyptian authorities.

He added that the families had almost no money to cover their expenses in Cairo.

Abu Ahmad said that the dozens of families stuck at the airport had contacted the Palestinian embassy in Cairo and the embassy had appealed to officials in Saudi Arabia, but they were still awaiting a response.
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