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 Israel and Egypt clamped a closure on Gaza following 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 lengthy Israeli security checks, then were bused to a southern Israel border crossing with Egypt 140 kilometers (90 miles) away.