Nearly 1200 Palestinian pilgrims are trapped in the middle of the sea infront of the Egyptian Nuweiba Port.
Khamis Al-Naggar, member of the Palestinian General Assembly, has confirmed such news, adding that the Egyptian authorities refuse to allow Palestinian pilgrims coming from Saudi Arabia to pass through the Rafah border crossing.
He said that such act forces Palestinians to pass through “Kerem Shalom” border crossing which is controlled by Israel. Adding that such risky step creates a great danger for Palestinians as the Israeli authorities would be glad to detain dozens of them.
It’s worth mentioning that Rafah is the only crossing in the strip that allows Palestinians to enter Palestine or leave for the outside world bypassing Israel.
Essam EL-Erian, a top leader in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), have commented on the current status of the Palestinian pilgrims. He said,
“Pressures of the American administration and Israel over Egypt have much increased in an unprecedented way that even affects the independence of Egyptian political decisions.”
Adding that what happens today is the clearest proof for such over-pressure on the Egyptian government.
El-Erian commented on the Egyptian role saying,
“Palestinian pilgrims have much suffered while trying to leave for Saudi Holy city “Mecca” through Rafah crossing in Egypt, but at last the Egyptian government have opened the crossing for the Palestinian pilgrims.”
“Then the Rafah crossing should be reopened for them so that they would go back to Gaza strip safely.” El-Erian said
He added that the Egyptian decision preventing Palestinians of passing through Rafah, forcing them to pass through Israeli border crossings is quite affected by the Israeli pressures and American threats of depriving Egypt of the American aid.
El-Erian said that Egypt have to be much stronger in her decisions and actions, adding that Palestinians should be allowed to go back to Gaza strip from the same place they left.