Egyptian Troops guard Rafiah crossing
Egyptian Troops guard Rafiah crossingIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Egyptian authorities have decided to open the Rafah crossing with Gaza for three days for special cases, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to Egypt said Sunday, according to the Ma’an news agency.

The envoy, Jamal al-Shoubaki, said in a statement that the crossing would be open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday on both sides.

For the first day, only university students who study abroad will be allowed to cross through to Egypt, al-Shoubaki said, according to Ma’an.

Rafah is the principle connection between Gazans and the outside world, but Egypt keeps it closed most of the time, fearing terrorists from Gaza will infiltrate into Egypt.

Many Palestinians who travel through Rafah are students heading to universities in Egypt or beyond, or people in need of 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 continuing to 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 is now being expanded by another 500 meters. Work on doubling the buffer zone began last week.

The decision on the buffer zone was made following two deadly attacks in October in El-Arish, which killed dozens of soldiers and were claimed by Egypt’s deadliest terrorist group, Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis.

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