More than 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims are stuck floating in the Red Sea today, barred from returning to Gaza through Egypt’s Rafah border crossing. Egypt demands that they reenter through an Israeli checkpoint, but Hamas fears that members on board will be arrested. Israel has claimed that the militants will try to smuggle funds into Gaza, the BBC reports.
Hamas officials continue to urge Egypt to ignore Israeli and US pressure. Meanwhile, the ships have stayed at sea for two days without medical supplies, and conditions are reportedly worsening. The pilgrims left through Egypt for last week's Hajj, with promises that they could return the same way. But after a meeting with Israeli authorities, Egypt denied them entry.