Egypt Relents, 100 Activists Allowed Passage into Gaza: Reports

A hundred international activists planning to march in solidarity with Palestinians living on the Gaza strip left Cairo on Wednesday for the besieged enclave, after Egypt denied passage to another 1,200 who planned to participate in the demonstration.

“Two buses with 100 delegates on board left this morning for Gaza,” Ann Wright of the Gaza Freedom March was quoted as saying even as some other reports said that the GFM has rejected the offer that reportedly came after intervention from Egypt’s first lady Suzanne Mubarak.

The activists coming from as many as 42 countries were banned by Egyptian authorities who refused permission to the demonstrators planning to enter the strip through the Rafah border, the only land route into the strip that bypasses Israel.

The activists planned to join Palestinians for a march Thursday marking the first anniversary of Israel’s 22-day war on Gaza.

Some 1400 Palestinians were killed in the war while the Israeli casualties were counted up to 13.

The decision to allow passage to the 100 activists came after activists staged demonstrations and hunger strikes around Cairo to protest at Egypt’s refusal to let them leave the city.

Egypt had said it barred the protesters because of the “sensitive situation” in the Gaza Strip.

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