Egypt to Reopen Rafah Crossing for Two Days

Egypt to reopen border crossing with Gaza on Monday and Tuesday to allow humanitarian cases to cross.

Elad Benari,

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

Egypt will reopen its Rafah border crossing with Gaza Monday and Tuesday to allow humanitarian cases to cross, AFP reports.

The decision by Egyptian authorities marks the fourth time the border will be opened since it was closed after a suicide bombing in the Sinai Peninsula in October killed 30 soldiers, security officials said.

The Director of the Gaza crossings, Maher Abu Sabha, told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an news agency that the Egyptian authorities will open the crossing from both sides.

Palestinians who travel through Rafah are mostly students heading to universities in Egypt or beyond, and those seeking medical treatment.

The crossing was opened for several days in late December, for only the second time in two months, to allow people stranded in Egypt to enter Gaza.

Egypt is keeping the crossing closed as part of its crackdown on Gaza terrorists, which it says are helping Sinai-based terror groups carry out attacks.

As part of that crackdown, Egypt is establishing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza.

The buffer was initially planned to be 500 meters wide, but Egypt later decided to expand it by another 500 meters.

Egyptian sources have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal October attacks in El-Arish through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai, thus making the buffer zone necessary. Hamas denies having any part in the terrorist attacks in the Sinai.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a terrorist group affiliated with the Islamic State group that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq, has claimed most of the attacks in North Sinai.

It says its attacks are retaliation for a brutal government crackdown on supporters of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the army in July 2013.




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