"Hundreds of Palestinian pilgrims who had been stranded in Egypt after performing Hajj have reportedly returned to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Around 20 buses carried the Palestinians to the Rafah crossing on Wednesday from temporary camps set up for them in the Egyptian city of El-Arish.
About 2,000 returning pilgrims were stranded when the Egyptian government decided that they had to cross through an Israeli-controlled crossing instead of going directly into Gaza through the Rafah terminal.
The pilgrims refused to comply, saying Israel could arrest them.
The stranded Palestinians rioted in the temporary camps on Monday and had threatened further measures, such as a hunger strike.
Israel was "surprised" by the pilgrims' return and "displeased" with Egypt's decision, an Israeli official said......
Earlier in the day, members of the Palestinian Legislative Council staged a sit-in on the Gaza side of Rafah with relatives of the stranded pilgrims, calling for them to be allowed to return to their homes.
Dr Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the council, urged Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to take up his Arab, national and Islamic responsibilities and immediately end the crisis of the Palestinian pilgrims stranded in El-Arish.
Egyptian security forces were put on high alert at the border crossing."