Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported on Tuesday evening that 13 Palestinians, who were imprisoned by Egypt, were released while twelve of them managed to cross into Gaza. One detainee was not allowed to head back to Gaza and was instead deported to the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian Information Center, reported.

The detainees were released after the Higher Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces issued an order in this regard.

The sources confirmed that the 12 detainees made it into the coastal region, and that one of them is Mohammad Al Sha’er, who is nicknamed as the “Tunnels Rat” due to his activities in the siege-busting tunnels across the Rafah-Egypt border in southern Gaza.

Al Sha’er was arrested by the Egyptian Authorities 13 months ago while trying to cross into Egypt via the Rafah Border Terminal.

It is worth mentioning that several Palestinians who were imprisoned by Egypt for “illegally crossing into the country” managed to escape from Egyptian prisons during the revolution that toppled the regime of former Egyptian
President, Hosni Mubarak. Some of them were re-arrested while trying to cross into Gaza.

Mohammad Hamdan of the European Network for Defending the Palestinian Detainees, welcomed the release of the detainees and called for releasing all Palestinian prisoners held by Egypt.

He said that the release of the detainees is a positive step that boosts the relations between the Palestinian and Egyptian people, and boosts their efforts to achieve security and stability in the area.

Hamdan added that the Network discussed this the issue with several European parliamentarians, who expressed, during their recent visit to Egypt, their support to the release of all political prisoners held by Egypt.

With the latest release of the detainees, 19 more Palestinians remain behind bars in Egypt.