Israel to let Palestinians into Gaza
( AP ) - Israel has agreed to allow Palestinians stranded in Egypt for weeks to pass into the Gaza Strip, a senior official said Saturday.
Palestinian Information Minister Riad Maliki said that some of the 6,000 Palestinians who have been waiting in the Egyptian border town of Rafah would be allowed to pass at the beginning of next week.
Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip last month, did not immediately comment on the deal.
Israel has agreed in principle to their passage, if the names are first approved in lists the Palestinians must compile, Maliki said. The Palestinians would pass into Israel, then into the northern Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing, he said.
The Palestinians have been unable to return to Gaza because of the closure of the Rafah border terminal since June 9.
Hamas had previously rejected an Israeli idea that the stranded Palestinians be rerouted through the Kerem Shalom crossing, near the meeting point of Gaza, Egypt and Israel.