Israel allows 75 Palestinians to exit through Erez

Hamas: Alternative route to Egypt through Israel a "conspiracy of Abbas and his Ramallah gov't."

August 26, 2007 21:14
2 minute read.
erez crossing 298 ap

erez crossing 298 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Israel allowed 75 Palestinians out of Gaza on Sunday to resume lives abroad cut short by Hamas' violent seizure of the coastal strip two months ago. More than 4,000 Palestinians with overseas work and study permits have been living in fear of losing badly needed jobs and academic credits after Gaza's borders were closed due to the Islamist group's takeover. Several hundred foreign nationals and Palestinians with dual citizenship, as well as a few Palestinians working and studying abroad, had already been permitted to cross through Israeli territory en route to other points. But Sunday's departure from Gaza was the first by a large group of Palestinians with foreign permits. They passed through the Erez crossing into Israel after going through an Israeli security check, then were bused to a southern border crossing with Egypt 140 kilometers (90 miles) away. "It was an experiment today to see how it goes," said Shlomo Dror, an IDF spokesman who reported that 75 Palestinians crossed. "If it went smoothly it will be a temporary solution to allow humanitarian cases out, until a permanent solution is found." Palestinian officials said 25 others were turned back with no explanation. The firing of mortar shells at Erez by Palestinian operatives on Saturday "makes things more difficult," he said. Khamis Nemr, 38, who works in the United Arab Emirates, was among those approved to leave. Nemr said he had been visiting his family in Gaza when Hamas took over, and needed to get back to the UAE by Aug. 31,when his residency permit expires. "I can't believe that I will be able to get back," Nemr said. "I thought I had lost my future because my residency permit will end." Hussein al-Sheikh, director of the Palestinian Authority's civil affairs office, said thousands of trapped Palestinians were expected to leave Gaza this week. Dror said only that many more would be expected to leave if the trial run proves successful. Sunday's departure was arranged between Israeli officials and the government of moderate PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, formed in the West Bank after Hamas seized Gaza. Sari Bashi of the Israeli human rights group Gisha said Gaza's Rafah crossing with Egypt must also be opened to allow Palestinians free passage out of Gaza. "Letting hundreds of people leave by bus is an important relief measure, but it's far from adequate," Bashi said. Hamas officials also demanded that the Rafah crossing be opened. Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu called the alternative route to Egypt through Israel a "conspiracy of Abbas and his Ramallah government against the people of Gaza." Hamas has claimed that Abbas' government, made up of pro-Western Fatah officials, does not want the crossings opened because that would help the Islamic group hold on to power in Gaza.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Ivanka Trump leads a listening session with military spouses at the White House in Washington
November 20, 2018
Report: Ivanka Trump facing questions for use of private email account