Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing for two days

Egyptian authorities to reopen Rafah crossing for two days for the passage of humanitarian cases.

Elad Benari,

Gazans waiting to cross into Egypt through Rafah crossing
Gazans waiting to cross into Egypt through Rafah crossing
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

Egyptian authorities announced on Thursday night that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza would be opened in both directions for two days, starting Friday, according to Egypt Today.

During this time period humanitarian cases will be permitted passage, the report said.

Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times since that attack, mostly for the passage of humanitarian cases.

Egypt blames Hamas terrorists for providing the weapons for the lethal 2014 attack, which killed 30 soldiers, through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.

In February, Egyptian authorities abruptly closed the border crossing just hours after opening it, for unknown reasons.

The crossing was supposed to reopen for three days soon after a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation deal was reached in October, but Egypt cancelled the opening following an Islamic State (ISIS) attack in northern Sinai which claimed the lives of six Egyptian soldiers.

The decision to open the crossing comes amid renewed tensions between Hamas and Fatah following the failed assassination attempt of Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Rami Hamdallah on March 13.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday directly blamed Hamas for the bomb attack, saying that if the attack had succeeded it would have "opened the way for a bloody civil war."

Hamas on Wednesday named a suspect in the bomb attack. On Thursday he was reported to have been killed in a raid in Gaza.




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