Egypt Opens Rafah Crossing at Gaza Border for Three Days

Officials in Gaza and Egypt said the crossing would only be open to medical patients, students and those with permits for entry to Egypt

People wait to travel into Egypt from Gaza after the Rafah border crossing was opened for three days for humanitarian cases on April 28, 2018.
\ IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/ REUTERS

Egyptian authorities opened Saturday the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, allowing people to move in both directions for three days, officials in Gaza and Egypt said. Egyptian officials said the crossing would only be open to medical patients, students and those with permits for Egypt.

Egypt occasionally opens the Rafah crossing to the economically battered enclave slipping into a worsening humanitarian crisis due to crippled infrastructure, lack of supplies and severe unemployment.

On Friday, four Palestinians were killed including a teenager in clashes with Israeli security forces as thousands participated in the "March of Return" along the Israel-Gaza border for the fifth week in a row, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. 

Of the 833 injured, Palestinians say at least 174 were injured by live Israeli fire. Friday's violence brings the total dead since the launch of demonstrations last month to 44.

Malaysia said last week that “foreign agents” might be involved in the killing of a Palestinian engineer and member of Hamas at the entrance to a mosque in Kuala Lumpur. The victim's family and Palestinians blamed Israel's Mossad for the assassination.

Fadi al-Batsh, a Hamas engineer, was reportedly involved in talks with North Korea on arms intended for Gaza, The New York Times reported Thursday. His body was returned to Gaza via the crossing.

Egypt and Israel have kept Gaza under a blockade since the militant group Hamas seized control in 2007. The territory has seen three wars with Israel in the past decade.