Palestinian students and pilgrimage-seekers protest closed Rafah crossing

Egyptian official says Rafah border may be opened to accommodate pilgrimage requests; Students protest "lost dreams" with symbolic tossing of fake diplomas into sea.

February 9, 2015 09:17
Rafah crossing

A Palestinian boy is seen at the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Gazan university students tossed diploma lookalikes into the sea recently in protest of the closure of Egypt's Rafah crossing, according to Ma'an news agency.

Doing so, symbolized their "lost collegiate dreams," according to the news source.

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The sealing off of the Rafah border has left many students stranded in Gaza, falling behind on coursework and unable to resume their studies at institutions outside of the strip. 

It has also kept thousands of Palestinians from making pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia.

Ma'an reported Sunday that around 7,500 Palestinians are pending approval to cross from Gaza into Egypt through the Rafah border in order to make "Hajj," or, pilgrimage to Mecca, an essential Pillar of Islam that must be carried out by every Muslim at least once in his lifetime.

A high-ranking Egyptian official told Ma'an that Egypt would open the Rafah border to accommodate the pilgrimage requests, operating on a "humanitarian level" to defend the Palestinian cause.

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