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Jewish Journal

Gaza visitors must obtain visa from Hamas

JTA

Posted on Oct. 10, 2011 at 11:25 am

Erez Crossing at the northern end of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Erez Crossing at the northern end of the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Foreign visitors to Gaza must now get a visa from the ruling Hamas organization.

Visitors can apply for the visa online or through a local sponsor, The Associated Press reported.

Activists and aid workers will be most affected by the new rules, which go into effect Sunday, according to information posted Sunday on a Hamas website.

The visa will be good for a month. Journalists will have separate, as yet unpublished, requirements.

The new rules could make it difficult for some foreign aid workers to enter the coastal strip, since governments such as the United States, as well as the European Union, have classified Hamas as a terrorist organization and prohibit contact with the group.

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