Egyptian man swims home from Gaza

Monday, August 27, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A young Egyptian man on Sunday implemented a simple solution to his undesired two-year sojourn in the Gaza Strip - he swam home.

Mohammed Salman Omeira Awda entered Gaza in September 2005 when the border with the Egyptian Sinai was temporarily breached following Israel's withdrawal from the area, according to a Reuters report. For more than a week, people, contraband and illicit arms flowed across the border unimpeded.

But Awda stayed in Gaza too long, and was unable to return to Egypt after border security was reinstated because he lacked the proper documentation.

Late Saturday night, Awda decided two years in Gaza was quite enough and entered the Mediterranean Sea. Several hours later, he was found by Egyptian police half a mile inland in the Sinai Peninsula. Awda was taken in for questioning, but was certainly happy to have finally escaped Gaza, where the new Hamas rulers are increasingly imposing a Taliban style of Islamic rule.

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