Egypt reopens Rafah border for 3 days

MENA, Ahram Online, Sunday 18 May 2014

The only crossing between Egypt and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip will be open from Sunday through Tuesday, Egyptian officials say

Rafah border crossing
Rafah border crossing on Egypt-Gaza border (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian officials have announced a temporary reopening of the Rafah border crossing to facilitate pilgrims travelling to and from Saudi Arabia, state news agency MENA reported.

The crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip will be open from Sunday through Tuesday, officials said

The border crossing was last opened from 5 to 7 May.

Rafah is the only border with the Hamas-ruled enclave that is not controlled by Israel.

The relationship between Egypt and Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has soured since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

Egyptian officials have accused Hamas of providing support to Islamic militants in the Sinai Peninsula since Morsi's ouster. Hamas has repeatedly denied any involvement.

Egypt has also launched a campaign to destroy tunnels providing vital gas and food supplies to 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under Israeli siege since 2007.

The Rafah crossing has been effectively closed since March.

The Rafah crossing was also closed at the start of Morsi's term in early August 2012, after 15 Egyptian soldiers were killed and seven injured near the border.

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