22 Jun 2011

Too many trying to get out of Gaza

3:22 pm on 22 June 2011

Government officials in the Gaza Strip have closed the registration list for travel across the border into Egypt because too many people have applied.

The BBC says that only three weeks after Egypt relaxed its border restrictions with Gaza, there is already a three-month waiting list of 18,000 people wanting to leave the Palestinian territory.

With only 300 to 500 being allowed out each day, most are facing long delays.

Last week's change of attitude by the new leadership in Egypt was welcomed by Palestinians. Before that, Egypt, along with Israel, had blockaded the border in response to the election of Hamas to govern Gaza.

But one Human Rights group in Gaza has called the easing of border restrictions an "illusion" and "propaganda".