Egypt reopens Rafah crossing for four days

Crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been virtually sealed since a terrorist attack in the Sinai Peninsula in October 2014.

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 have reopened the Rafah border crossing with Gaza for four days, the Daily Sabah newspaper reported.

According to the report, the crossing was reopened on Monday. This is the first time it has reopened since September due to coronavirus restrictions.

According to a statement by the Hamas-run “Ministry of Interior”, members of the security services were deployed in the city centers in the Gaza Strip to equip passenger buses carrying patients, foreign and Egyptian passport holders and students.

"The terminal will be open in both directions for four days until Thursday," it said in a statement.

Passengers were transported to the crossing in accordance with coronavirus regulations, the statement said.

Those returning to Gaza are required to present a coronavirus test result received within the last 48 hours.

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 has kept the Rafah crossing closed as 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.

Last year, Egypt decided that the Rafah 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 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.



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