Egyptian soldiers in Rafiah
Egyptian soldiers in RafiahFlash 90

Egypt on Saturday opened the Rafah crossing in both directions and is expected to keep the crossing open for the next three days, the Ma’an news agency reported.

The Gaza Ministry of Interior announced the opening, noting it was the first time the crossing was opened since Egyptian authorities had allowed Palestinian Arabs stuck in Egypt to return to Gaza last month, opening Rafah for one day in one direction.

Some 15,000 Gazans registered at the Ministry of Interior are currently waiting to travel via Rafah, including 3,000 patients and more than 2,500 students, according to Ma’an.

Egyptian authorities have kept the Rafah crossing, the only access point to the Gaza Strip not controlled by Israel, virtually sealed since October 2014, though they have temporarily reopened the crossing several times.

The reason for the closure is a bombing in the Sinai Peninsula in October which killed 30 Egyptian soldiers.

Egypt is continuing to crackdown on Gaza terrorists, which it says are helping Sinai-based terror groups carry out attacks.

Egyptian sources have revealed that Hamas terrorists had provided the weapons for the lethal attacks in October through one of its smuggling tunnels under the border to Sinai. Hamas denies the allegations.

As part of the crackdown on Gaza terrorism, Egypt is establishing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza. The buffer was initially planned to be 500 meters wide, but was later expanded by another 500 meters. In addition, Egypt has destroyed hundreds of tunnels used by terrorists to smuggle weapons between Egypt and Gaza.