Family That Had Used Tunnels to Enter Gaza Is Denied Entry to Egypt

Egypt officials say mom and children, who are German citizens, did not have Rafah-crossing entry stamps in passports.

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Palestinians at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on August 27, 2014.
Palestinians at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip on August 27, 2014.Credit: AFP

A mother from the Gaza Strip and her children were denied entry to Egypt because they had previously used smuggling tunnels to enter Gaza, a media report says.

Egyptian authorities told the Palestinian Ma'an news agency that the family members, who have German citizenship, were stopped at the border when they tried to enter Egypt.

Their passports did not have entry stamps to Gaza, indicating that they had entered through the tunnels instead of through the Rafah crossing, Ma'an reported.

Rafah is the main exit from Gaza. Ma'an reported that Egypt, in coordination with Israel, keeps the crossing tightly controlled.

Haaretz reported this week that thousands of Palestinians have left the Gaza Strip for Europe using tunnels, traffickers and boats, according to testimonies obtained by the newspaper.

Gazans have been fleeing the Strip since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, but their escape was hardly covered in the media since they have been leaving clandestinely, with the help of paid smugglers.

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