CAIRO: Syrian actor Dureid Laham denied that he had been impeded by Egypt in his attempt to enter Gaza last week.
“All that was said about Cairo impeding my visit to Gaza is untrue, Laham said during a press conference at the Palestinian embassy in Cairo Sunday.
Laham, along with his wife and Egyptian actress Fardous Abdel-Hamid, were permitted entry to the Gaza strip via the Rafah crossing Friday to attend a play and visit sites destroyed by the Israeli offensive last December and January.
Hamas had issued a statement Thursday that Laham had been denied entry to Gaza via the crossing.
“Egyptian security refused to give the delegation a permission to enter Gaza under the pretext that Rafah border crossing is closed for the time being, the statement read.
“Egypt opens the crossing point for foreign delegations to cross from Egypt to Gaza, while the crossing is closed. Yet, it did not let Laham cross, it continued.
Laham said the reason for his delay in entering Gaza was due to his “not knowing the precise procedures for entry to Gaza, as the Syrian embassy had to inform Egyptian authorities of his intention to enter Gaza and ask for the requisite permit.
Last Friday, Laham, his wife and Abdel-Hamid traveled from Cairo to Rafah and entered Gaza at 4 pm according to sources in the area. Laham had been in Cairo since Tuesday.
Laham and Abdel-Hamid attended the opening of a Palestinian play entitled “The Women of Gaza and the Patience of Jacob about the suffering of Gazans, specifically its women, under the two-year siege.
“My visit to Palestine was a dream I had for years, Laham said, “and now it is real after going to Gaza carrying a message of Palestinian unity.