Israel-Egypt prevents Blair sister-in-law exit from Gaza

Israel shut land crossings some 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza.

Israel-Egypt prevents Blair sister-in-law exit from Gaza

Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair's sister-in-law, who arrived in Gaza with a boatload of activists protesting an Israeli siege, said on Tuesday she was stuck there because both Israel and Egypt had prevented her entry.

Lauren Booth, sister of the former British prime minister's wife Cherie, revealed her predicament as Blair visited the region.

Booth was one of 44 foreign Free Gaza activists who set sail from Cyprus, docking in Gaza last month, and was one of 10 who remained when the others sailed back to Cyprus on Friday.

Israel did not prevent the activists to dock in Gaza on Aug. 23.

Booth said she has tried unsuccessfully in the past few days to leave through Gaza's land crossings with Israel and Egypt.

"I tried through the proper channels, through the United Kingdom's embassy, but I was told I was not allowed to come through," she said after trying in vain to enter Israel.

An Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman, Peter Lerner, confirmed Israel had denied Booth entry.

"There is no possibility to let in those people who entered by the sea. They cannot enter Israel," Lerner said.

Egypt would not let Booth through its Rafah terminal with Gaza on Saturday. She was turned away along with two other activists, Booth said.

"We were all turned back by the Egyptians," she said, adding that she had received no explanation but had "heard through contacts Egypt was under pressure from Israel to act that way."

Israel shut land crossings some 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Eylül 2008, 15:22
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