HR groups call to reopen Gaza-Egypt border

July 31, 2007 19:54

A group of Israeli, Palestinian and European human rights organizations on Tuesday called on Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the European Union to reopen the border crossing and renew passenger traffic between Egypt and the Gaza Strip immediately. The border has been closed for more than six weeks, since fighting erupted between Hamas and Fatah during which Hamas gained sole control over the territory. Hundreds of Palestinians have been stuck on the Egyptian side of the border ever since. A joint statement by 12 human rights organization quoted reports saying 20 people have already died waiting to return to Gaza from Egypt. One man waiting at El-Arish Airport testified that more than 90 people, many of them seriously ill, who went to Egypt for treatment, were trapped at the airport.

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