Egypt Reopens Border Crossing With Gaza

Rafah crossing opened in both directions after two months of closure in the midst of worsening relations between Hamas and Egypt.

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Rafah border crossing between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt March 18, 2014.
Rafah border crossing between southern Gaza Strip and Egypt March 18, 2014.Credit: Reuters

Egypt has partially reopened its border crossing with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Saturday after closing it for almost two months.

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said on its website that Egypt partly opened the Rafah crossing, the Palestinian enclave's only window to the outside world, in both directions for three days.

The travel is limited to patients, students, and holders of foreign passports, said the Interior Ministry statement.

Up to 10,000 Palestinians have applied to exit through Rafah, the ministry said.

Around 150 to 300 people can leave Gaza each day through the crossing.

Since the closure, Egypt has partly reopened it three times to allow the travel of Palestinian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia.

The crossing has been repeatedly closed since the Egyptian military overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.

Ties between Hamas, an offshoot of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, and Egypt's military-backed government have since worsened.

In December, Egypt designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

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