Egypt to Reopen Gaza Crossing Sunday

Rafah crossing had been closed after deadly suicide bombing; decision comes as Hamas-Israel tensions rise once more.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Egyptian soldiers along the border with Gaza
Egyptian soldiers along the border with Gaza
Flash 90

Egypt is to reopen the Rafah border crossing with Gaza Sunday for the second time in two months to allow those stranded in Egypt to enter the Islamist-ruled territory, officials said.  

The Rafah crossing is the only access point to Gaza not controlled by Israel.

It was shut by Egypt in late October following a deadly bombing in the Sinai Peninsula, reopening briefly at the end of November to allow Palestinians stuck in Egypt to return home.

Police official Ali al-Azazi told AFP that a similar operation will take place from Sunday and only for two days.

"Egypt will open the Rafah crossing Sunday and Monday to allow those stranded on the Egyptian side to go to Gaza," he said.  

More than 3,500 Palestinians were stranded when Egypt closed the crossing after a suicide attack killed 30 soldiers in North Sinai on October 24, the United Nations said last month. The Egyptian government has accused Gaza's Hamas rulers of aiding an Islamist insurgency in Sinai.

It was not immediately clear how many Gazans are still stranded.  

Many Palestinians who travel through Rafah are students heading to universities in Egypt or beyond, or patients in need of medical treatment not available in Gaza.

The decision to reopen the crossing comes amid rising tensions, as three terrorist rocket attacks from Gaza against Israeli civilians triggering a retaliatory airstrike on Gaza Saturday.