Rafah Border Opens for the First of Five Days

Palestinians await entry to Egypt via the Rafah border crossing earlier this year. (Photo: via MRN)

Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing to the Gaza Strip today to allow Gazans in urgent need to enter and exit the besieged Palestinian enclave.

The terminal is set to remain open for five days in the coming week, excluding Friday.

Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is in its tenth year. Gaza’s 1.8 million residents continue to struggle to meet their basic needs due to severe constraints on goods coming in and out f the enclave.

Egyptian authorities have slowly sealed off movement through the border since President Mohamed Morsi was toppled by the Egyptian army in 2013. The border closures rose due to accusations by Egyptian authorities that Hamas was backing militants who had carried out attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula that borders the Palestinian territory. Hamas denied these allegations.

The Egyptian government opened the Rafah crossing for four days during the first week of June ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, during which time more than 3,000 people left the Gaza Strip.


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