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Hamas: Foreigners to apply for Gaza visas

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[October 10, 2011]  GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Gaza's Hamas rulers have imposed new entry restrictions requiring most foreigners to obtain a visa to enter the coastal territory.

HardwareThe group says the move is meant to ensure the security of foreigners, who enter either through Israel or Egypt.

Beginning Tuesday, foreigners must apply online or through a local sponsor a week before entry to obtain a monthlong visa.

The rules, posted on a Hamas website late Sunday, will apply mostly to aid workers and activists. A separate set of procedures for foreign journalists is still being completed.

The rules could make it difficult for international charities to function in Gaza. Many groups are barred from contact with Hamas because the U.S. and EU considers it a terrorist group.

Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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