World Bulletin / News Desk
Egyptian authorities will deport 62 foreign female activists who arrived late on Wednesday in Cairo on their way to Gaza before the authorities denied their entry into the Palestinian enclave.
"The passengers will be deported to their home countries on Thursday," a statement by Egyptian Aviation Minister Hossam Abul-Kheir said.
Cairo International Airport sources said late Wednesday that the activists arrived at the airport from France, Belgium, the United States and Austria as part of a delegation on a visit to the Palestinian coastal enclave this week to participate in celebrations marking the International Women's Day.
Security sources at the airport said that some 80 activists who were seeking to visit Gaza had been placed on Egypt's no-entry list and they can go to Israel to get into the enclave through the crossings between them.
The sources also accused the activists of seeking public sympathy through trying to "provoke" security forces into using force.
The Gaza Strip has been reeling under an eight-year Israeli blockade.
Foreign delegations visiting the strip to show solidarity with the besieged Palestinians have drastically dropped following the July 3 ouster of Egypt's elected president Mohamed Morsi by the military, according to the Gaza Foreign Ministry.
Egyptian authorities have tightened their control over the border with Gaza, repeatedly closing the Rafah crossing, which represents Gaza's only window to the outside world.
The Egyptian army has also launched a campaign aimed at destroying the network of tunnels linking Gaza to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which in recent years had been used to bring vital commodities into the besieged coastal enclave, home to nearly 2 million Palestinians.
Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group which propelled Morsi to power in the 2012 elections, has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.Last Mod: 06 Mart 2014, 09:27