1323 from Egypt, Gaza cross Rafah on first day of border opening

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Feb 2016

The two-day opening, on 13 and 14 February, is the first time in 2016 that the Rafah border crossing has been open to both sides

A bus carrying Palestinians passes by Egyptian solders and an armored personnel carrier at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (Photo: AP)

On Saturday, the first day of Egypt opening the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, 1,323 people crossed from both sides, MENA reported.

The state news agency reported that 721 people arrived in Egypt from Gaza while 602 crossed in the opposite direction.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered the opening of the borders for two days, 13 and 14 February.

The two-day opening marks the first time in 2016 that the Rafah crossing has been made accessible to both sides.

An official source at the border said that procedures have been eased to facilitate the travel of those returning to the Gaza strip, according to MENA.

Twenty-four trucks transporting 2,265 tonnes of cement needed for Gaza’s reconstruction crossed the border from Egypt on Saturday.

Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah crossing for the second day on Sunday, allowing travelers stranded on either side to pass through and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.

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

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