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Egypt reopens Rafah border crossing with Gaza

It is the second time in less than 20 days that the Egyptian authorities have reopened the only key crossing point of Rafah on the border between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, the only window for Gaza populations to the world
Rafah Border

The Egyptian authorities on Wednesday opened the closed Rafah border crossing point for four days, according to Hamas-run interior office in Gaza.

It is the second time in less than 20 days that the Egyptian authorities have reopened the only key crossing point of Rafah on the border between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt, the only window for Gaza populations to the world, Xinhua reported.

The Hamas-run borders and crossings corporation said the authorities informed the Palestinian side late Tuesday of the decision.

The Gaza Strip populations with around two million people were under a tight Israeli blockade for around ten years, while Egypt has been closing the crossing and usually reopens it only for humanitarian reasons.

The tight restrictions of free movement were imposed on the coastal enclave’s populations were made right after Hamas movement and its militias violently seized control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007.

“The crossing of Rafah will be operating from Wednesday to Sunday, but it will be closed during Friday,” said the statement, adding “those who will be travelling through the crossing, are students, patients and with dual nationalities.”

The Hamas-run corporation and international rights groups said there are 30,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who are in an urgent need for travelling abroad through Egypt.

This huge number of people cannot travel through the Israeli-controlled crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip because Jerusalem said they have security records and travel through its territories to Jordan or to the world.

On Wednesday, thousands of people crowded outside the crossing point of Rafah to cross. They usually take buses travelling in between the two parts of the crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Around 20 days ago, Egypt also temporarily reopened Rafah crossing point for three days only.

The Hamas-run corporation said only 790 people out of 30,000 were able to cross Rafah terminal into Egypt.

Ties between Hamas and Egypt worsened after Hamas supported the Muslim Brothers in Egypt.

Egyptian courts had also outlawed Hamas and its military wing for being involved in backing militants that carried out deadly attacks against the Egyptian army.

IANS

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