Gazan pilgrims riot in Egypt

More than 2,000 Gazan Palestinian pilgrims rioted in temporary camps while they wait to return home.

The Palestinians, who went to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as part of the Muslim Hajj pilgrimage, are upset at Egypt for not allowing them to enter Gaza through the Egypt-Gaza Rafah crossing.

At Israel’s request, Egypt is demanding that they enter Gaza through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom border crossing. The standoff began Saturday.

Israel believes that many of the Palestinians are bringing back major cash contributions for Hamas and wants to prevent the smugglers from crossing in to Gaza. Some may also have undergone military training in Iran, Israel said.

Egypt has moved the pilgrims into 11 temporary camps near the costal city of el-Arish, where the protests broke out Monday. One Palestinian woman, 65, died of a heart attack during the riots.

Egypt angered Israel by allowing hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza, including senior Hamas members, to go to Mecca through its territory.

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