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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Déjà Vu: Egypt to allow Gazans to go to Mecca

From Ma'an:
Egypt agreed on Monday to allow 600 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to travel to Mecca for the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage, through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing with Gaza next Saturday.

Talib Abu Sha’r, the minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs in the de facto government in Gaza said that all 600 who were approved to leave have already booked their flights and secured visas from Saudi Arabia.

Abu Sha’r said that 2200 Gazans had applied for permits, but only 600 had received approval from the Egyptian and Saudi authorities.
Of course Muslims are very sensitive to allowing their co-religionists to perform one of their sacred rights.

But last year, many of the pious individuals that Egypt allowed to go to Saudi Arabia were in fact Hamas terrorists who met with their patron Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Mecca. He gave them some $50 million, and Egypt ended up allowing them to return to Gaza. (The non-terrorists who returned came through Israel's Keren Shalom crossing; the others refused until Egypt relented.)

There were also reports at the time that some Hamas members took advantage of Egypt's opening Rafah to go to Iran for terror training or to return from that training. Not to mention that Egypt's opening of Rafah is a breach of existing agreements between Israel and Egypt.

Meanwhile, the EU team that is supposed to be monitoring the Rafah crossing for just this kind of activity stays on its extended vacation in Israel, while their bosses are utterly silent about the multiple breaches of agreements concerning the opening of that border.