Egypt’s Sisi orders opening of Gaza border crossing on 13,14 Feb

Ahram Online , Friday 12 Feb 2016

First time the Gaza-Egypt border crossing will be opened in 2016

File photo: Palestinians walk toward the Rafah border crossing (Photo: AP)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered the opening of the Rafah border crossing, which links Egypt with Gaza, in both directions on 13 and 14 February, state news agency MENA reported on Friday.

It will be the first time that the border crossing will be opened this year.

The Rafah border crossing, which is the main entry and exit point to Gaza, has been mostly closed since October 2014 when a militant attack in North Sinai left over 30 Egyptian security personnel dead.

Egypt has been fighting militancy in the North Sinai region. Destroying the underground tunnels leading in and out of Gaza was one of several counter-terrorism measures the Egyptian state has adopted.

Egypt sees the tunnels as a pathway of arms and militants, forming a direct threat to the country's security.

On the other hand, goods imported to Gaza "through tunnels, especially foodstuffs, medicines, fuel, construction materials and cars, have spared the Gaza Strip the breakdown of all vital sectors," the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said in 2013.  

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