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A compromise will allow Palestinians returning from the Hajj pilgrimage to return to the Gaza Strip.

More than 2,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were stranded at Red Sea ports over the weekend after Cairo indicated that they may have to return home via Israel, rather than through the Egypt-Gaza border.

Israel believes that many of the Palestinians, who went to Mecca in Saudi Arabia as part of a Muslim pilgrimage, are bringing back major cash contributions for Hamas. Some may have also undergone military training in Iran.

Under an accord reached Sunday night Egypt will conduct security inspections at the Egyptian-Gaza border and report any smuggling attempts to Israel.

Egypt angered Israel by allowing hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza, including senior Hamas embers, to go to Mecca through its territory. That incident, as well as Israeli complaints about arms smuggling from the Egyptian Sinai to Gaza, prompted Cairo to pledge boosted efforts to keep Hamas isolated.

Many of the Palestinian pilgrims said they would refuse to go through Israeli security checks, citing fear of arrest.

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