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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Egypt to open Gaza border crossing on Saturday

This will be the second time Egypt has opened the crossing to Gaza since March

Ahram Online , Wednesday 10 Jun 2015
Rafah
An Egyptian soldier keeps watch at the closed Rafah border crossing, between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt November 6, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt is set to open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Saturday, state news agency MENA said on Wednesday.

This will be the second time Egypt has opened the crossing since March.

The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo said in a statement that the decision came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ intervention to improve conditions for his people before the start of the Islamic month of Ramadan later in June.  

The terminal had been closed since March before it was opened for the first time since then on 27 May for three days. At least 560 Palestinians passed the crossing on that occasion.

Palestinians who travel through Rafah are mostly students heading to universities in Egypt or beyond, and those seeking medical treatment.

Gaza, with a population of 1.5 million, has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

Egypt had completely shut the Rafah crossing after a militant attack in North Sinai in October 2014 killed 30 soldiers, only opening it for short periods of time on three occasions since.

Egypt has accused Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, of involvement in terrorist activities in the Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas leaders have distanced themselves from violence in Egypt and say they have no armed presence outside Palestinian areas.

The Egyptian army has also created a wide buffer zone along the border with Gaza aimed at preventing infiltration by militants.

 

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