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Egyptian Authorities Continue to Arrest Visiting Gaza Strip Residents

The Levant News – By Jasmin Rasheed — According to Palestinian sources, despite an improvement in relations with Hamas, and Rafah Crossing being open more frequently, the Egyptian authorities consistently continue their activity against visitors from the Gaza Strip suspected of links to terror.

On 10-12 December, Rafah Crossing was opened for travelers and goods in both directions. Thousands of tons of cement were brought into the Gaza Strip for the purpose of reconstruction. Palestinian sources commented that the opening of Rafah Crossing reflected the recent moderate improvement in the relationship between Hamas and Egypt. The large-scale operation run by Hamas’s security forces in recent weeks, in which Salafists involved in terror were arrested across the Gaza Strip, was cited as one of the factors that contributed to the warming relations.

Palestinian sources revealed that Islam Salem, a PIJ member from Beit Lahia, was recently detained in Egypt after returning from Iran, where he had traveled under the pretext of medical treatment. Salem’s arrest is one of many similar incidents showing that, despite an improvement in relations with Hamas, the Egyptian authorities continue their policy of operating against visitors from the Gaza Strip that are suspected of involvement in terror.

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