x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Stranded Palestinians leave for Egypt

Of nine men who were initially stuck for two months in the UAE, the last four left the country on Saturday afternoon.

DUBAI // The last of a group of Palestinians who were stranded at Dubai International Airport for two months were deported at the weekend.

Of the nine men who were initially stuck in the UAE, the last four left the country on Saturday afternoon, according to Dr Gaith al Suwaidi, the executive director of the human rights department at the Community Development Authority (CDA).

"Representatives from Emirates Airline accompanied them and they are currently in Egypt," he said.

The Palestinians claimed their lives would be in danger in Gaza and had tried to enter Egypt, but were denied visas due to changes in that country's regulations. After leaving Egypt, the quartet were all allowed to enter Dubai on humanitarian grounds.

However, they were returned to the airport after Sweden, Australia and Canada rejected their bid for asylum, with officials from those countries saying applications must be processed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Changes in regulations after the January 25 uprising in Egypt mean it is difficult for unmarried Palestinian men below the age of 40 to acquire Egyptian visas. Five of the original group returned back to Gaza voluntarily after the CDA arranged visas.

wissa@thenational.ae