Palestinians protest in Rafah asking Egypt to open
the Rafah border crossing to pilgrims [AFP]
A tough day in Gaza. A sudden breakthrough enables thousands of stranded Palestinian pilgrims to cross from the Egyptian side of the borders.
More than 2000 Hajjis are finally home. They have spent a week in temporary camps in Egypt after they were told Israel opposed their entering Gaza via the Rafah crossing and decided that they had to enter through Kerem Shalom, a crossing point controlled by the Israelis.

This decision was rejected by the pilgrims who feared the Israelis might arrest them. Pressure intensified as three elderly women passed away while waiting to be allowed to go.

The pilgrims accused Egypt of bowing to Israeli pressures by not allowing them to go through Rafah.

We will discuss the issue of the crossings: The Palestinians ask for more freedom of movement and the Israelis voice security concerns.

Inside Story will also ask whether the crisis was politically motivated and what kind of impact it is going to have on the controversial issue of the crossings.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube.
Watch part two of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube.  

This episode of Inside Story aired on Wednesday, January 2, 2008

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Source: Al Jazeera