More than 100 Palestinians began their trip home to the Gaza Strip on Sunday, almost two months after Hamas’ takeover of the seaside strip triggered the closure of the border with Egypt.
The journey began on Sunday morning when some 1,000 Palestinians gathered in a stadium in el-Arish, where authorities read the names of 105 people who had been approved by Israel to return to Gaza.
The Palestinians boarded buses outside the stadium that headed south toward the rarely-used Al-Oja cargo crossing, where they will cross into Israel and then into northern Gaza through the Erez crossing.
Hani Jabbour, a Palestinian security coordinator stationed on the Egyptian side of Rafah, said Saturday that Israel had approved a list of 627 Palestinians who would be allowed to return, a portion of the some 6,000 who have been living in harsh desert conditions in the Egyptian border town of Rafah.
The people remaining on the list after Sunday’s journey will head out the next day, and similar transfers are expected in the future, he added.