Egypt extends opening of Rafah crossing for another two days

Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Jun 2015

Saturday was the first time that Palestinians have been able to move in and out of Gaza in three months

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi gave orders on Tuesday to extend the opening of Rafa border crossing between Egypt and Gaza for another two days until Friday, state-owned MENA reported.

Egypt already decided to open the Rafah crossing for three days on Saturday to allow Palestinians to move in both directions for the first time since three months ago.

The crossing was partially opened on 27 May for three days, but only for travellers from Egypt to Gaza, when at least 560 Palestinians were able to return home.

Egypt has kept the Rafah crossing closed to Palestinians for most of the past two years, citing security concerns. Cairo has repeatedly accused Hamas, the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip, of involvement in terrorist activities in the Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas leaders have distanced themselves from Islamist militant attacks in Egypt, insisting that they have no armed presence outside Palestinian areas.

In 2014, the Egyptian army also created a wide buffer zone along the border with Gaza aimed at preventing infiltration by militants.

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