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Egypt extends opening of crossing with Gaza for third day

Egyptian authorities have kept the frontier mostly closed since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, citing security concerns

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 May 2015
Rafah
Rafah border crossing on Egypt-Gaza border (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt extended the opening of its border crossing with the Gaza Strip for a third day on Thursday to allow stranded Palestinians to return home, state news agency MENA said.

The terminal, closed since March, was only scheduled to operate for two days from Tuesday.

The Rafah crossing – the only passage to the Palestinian territory not controlled by Israel – is only operating in one direction for outbound traffic.

Over 560 Palestinians were able to leave Egypt for Gaza on Tuesday, according to MENA.

Egyptian authorities have kept the frontier mostly closed since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, citing security concerns in the Sinai Peninsula where troops are battling an Islamist insurgency.

Egypt has tightened its grip on the crossing further since October 2014, following a suicide attack in neighbouring Sinai that killed 33 members of the Egyptian security forces.

It has since temporarily reopened the crossing for a few days.

The Egyptian military has also created a wide buffer zone along the border with Gaza aimed at deterring militant infiltration and arms smuggling. But deadly militant attacks have continued to take place in the border Peninsula.

 

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