Update: Official denies that new policy grants Palestinians visa-free entry

A senior security official at Cairo International Airport denied that Egypt had allowed Palestinians to enter Egypt without showing visas.

The source told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Monday that that no directives had been made concerning entry for Palestinians, and added that current instructions and deportations to the Rafah land crossing are remain in place.

The German news agency DPA had earlier reported that Egyptian authorities started Monday morning a new policy that granted Palestinians visa-free entry to Egypt and security safeguards at all of the country’s entrances, quoting airport sources.

DPA said that daily missions deporting Palestinians without visas from Cairo airport to the Rafah border crossing had also been abolished.

The agency had said the new policy was a result of directives issued by the National Security Agency that grant entry to Palestinians of all ages without any procedures, except for sealing their passports. The new measure applies to Palestinians heading either to Egypt or the Gaza Strip.

The sources added that Palestinians between the ages of 18 and 40 would be subject to extra security screening by the National Security Agency

DPA had said that following the directives, seven Palestinians who were held at the airport while awaiting National Security Agency review were allowed to enter the country directly under the supervision of the Palestinian Authority’s embassy.

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