Palestinians stranded in Gaza after paying Egypt $5,000 each to flee



(MIDDLE EAST EYE) – The Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed indefinitely since the Israeli military seized the crossing on 7 May, a closure which has left thousands of Palestinians in limbo.

Since the beginning of Israel’s war on Gaza in October, and the subsequent closure of all other crossings, the Rafah crossing with Egypt has been the only passageway for civilians fleeing the conflict. An Egyptian company with exclusive control on exits and transfers via the terminal had been charging Palestinians at least $5,000 per adult and $2,500 per child to cross to the Egyptian side.

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In April, Hala Consulting and Tourism Services, a firm owned by Sinai tribal leader and business tycoon Ibrahim al-Organi, made at least $2m per day from Palestinians, Middle East Eye has revealed. Now, those who were due to travel in May after paying thousands of dollars in advance have no clear means of getting a refund.

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