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First batch of Palestinian pilgrims cross Egypt's Rafah

07-20-2010 10:46 BJT

RAFAH, Egypt, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The first batch of Palestinian pilgrims arrived at Egypt's Rafah crossing borders on their way to Saudi Arabia's Mecca to perform their pilgrimage.

Mohammed Shaath, a Palestinian official at the Rafah crossing borders, told Xinhua on Monday that a bus carrying 50 pilgrims arrived at the Egyptian side of the crossing.

He added that more will arrive in batches to avoid overcrowding in the arrival hall.

According to the coordination between the Egyptian and Palestinian sides, about 179 pilgrims will arrive Monday and to be transported to the Cairo Airport in four buses.

Over the coming four days, about 2,000 pilgrims are to cross the Rafah crossing borders.

Since June 1, Egypt has kept the Rafah border terminal with the Gaza Strip open to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged seaside enclave and allow stranded Palestinians to cross to either of the two sides.

During the past 48 days, as many as 33,511 Palestinians have crossed the Rafah terminal either to Egypt or to the Gaza Strip, according to official figures.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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