Palestinians Expelled from Libya Stranded on Egyptian-Gaza Border
Around 20 Palestinians who had been expelled from Libya were stranded Thursday on the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian authorities near the border said.
Five Palestinian families, who had lived for several years in Libya, were ordered by the Libyan authorities "to return to their country" but no reason was given, the authorities said.
But the group has been stranded at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip since it was closed Wednesday by the Israeli army after a shootout between armed Palestinian civilians and Israeli troops.
Under the 1993 Oslo accords that launched Palestinian autonomy in Gaza and the West Bank, Israel controls international borders for the Palestinian territories.
Libyan leader Moammer Kadhafi, who opposes the Israeli-Arab peace process, expelled 30,000 Palestinians after the Oslo accords and between 1994 and 1996 he froze his contacts with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
In 1996, Kadhafi and Arafat patched up relations following Egyptian mediation, and Libya allowed many expelled Palestinians to return.
But, in the same year, Kadhafi's government launched a broad campaign against Arab expatriates working in Libya, which resulted in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese, Egyptians and Palestinians -- El ARISH, Egypt (AFP)
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