Egypt to open Rafah crossing for return of Palestinian hajj pilgrims

Ahram Online , Friday 16 Sep 2016

The Rafah crossing will be open starting from Wednesday

Rafah crossing-Reuters
A file photo for Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza. (Photo:Reuters)

Egypt will open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza on Wednesday for three days to allow the return of Palestinian pilgrims from Saudi Arabia, Egyptian state television announced Friday afternoon.

The Rafah border crossing was opened in late August and early September in both directions to allow the crossing of 3,500 Palestinians heading for Saudi Arabia to carry out the hajj.  

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Sinai is the only way for the 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza who have been living under Israeli siege since 2006 to enter and exit the strip.

The Egyptian government decided to close the crossing in October 2014 when an attack by Islamist militants in North Sinai left dozens of security personnel dead.

It opens the borders from time to time for short periods, often including major Islamic holidays. 

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