Egypt to reopen Rafah crossing in both directions

Hamas says Rafah border crossing will reopen on Tuesday. Egypt has not confirmed.

Elad Benari,

Rafah crossing
Rafah crossing
Flash 90

The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will reopen in both directions Tuesday, Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers said on Monday, according to AFP.

In a statement, the Hamas-run “interior ministry” in Gaza announced "the opening of the Rafah border crossing in both directions on Tuesday".

There was no immediate confirmation from Egypt.

Egyptian authorities last week closed the Rafah border crossing in both directions due to anniversary celebrations of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

Earlier this month, Egypt decided that the crossing will be open in one direction only, for people wishing to cross from Egypt into Gaza. The decision was made after the Palestinian Authority withdrew its staff from the crossing due to clashes with Hamas.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) took control of Rafah in November 2017, as part of a reconciliation deal with Hamas. The deal, however, has never been fully implemented due to what has been described as “obstacles” between the sides.

PA forces withdrew on January 6 from the Rafah border crossing, accusing rivals Hamas of interference.

Hamas employees retook the post and negotiated with Egypt, saying they were seeking to maintain control after the PA's withdrawal.

The crossing is the only way for Palestinian Arabs to leave Gaza that bypasses Israel.

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.

The reason behind Egypt’s closure of the crossing is that it 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.




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