564 Palestinians enter Gaza through Egypt's Rafah border on Tuesday

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 May 2015

The terminal had been closed for almost three months due to Egyptian security concerns

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

Over 560 Palestinians were able to leave Egypt for Gaza on Tuesday through the Rafah border crossing after it was opened for the first time in months, state news agency MENA reported.

A source at the crossing said that 564 Palestinians were permitted to pass through the crossing, the only gateway for Gazans to the blockaded strip.

He added that the crossing will remain open through Thursday, operating in one direction only from Egypt to Gaza.

The terminal had been closed since March.

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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